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Summary: Life and death of John the Baptist

Children’s story, 4 May 2003

Matthew 11:1-6

How must all the best stories begin?

Once upon a time there was a man called Zach.

Who would like to hold up the picture of Zach?

Now Zach and his wife Liz had tried to have children throughout their married life but they couldn’t. How do you think that made them feel? Sad.

But one day when Zach was in the temple serving as a priest, the angel Gabriel appeared to him.

How did Zach react? Astonished.

Gabriel told Zach he was going to have a son.

Did Zach believe him?

No, he didn’t! The angel struck Zach dumb until the baby was born.

Low and behold Liz became pregnant.

How do you think she felt? Happy

The great day of the birth came, the baby was born and all Zach’s friends were going to name the baby…

What? Zach Junior!

But just at that moment God let Zach speak again and he said, “The baby’s name is…”

What? John!

John grew up and went about tell people that they needed to say sorry for all the things they had done against God, and change their lives to please Him. John had a cousin…

What was his name? Jesus!

John’s job was to introduce Jesus and point everybody to Him. John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Now the king of the time was called Herod. He wasn’t a good man. He fancied his brother’s wife, Herodias, so he just took her and slept with her. John went to speak to Herod about this to warn him that God was…

How did God feel towards Herod? Angry

How did Herod feel? Guilty, but he didn’t do anything about it

How did Herodias feel towards John? Angry

So Herod put John in prison. John’s followers had heard all about how Jesus was going to set everyone free, and here was his cousin in prison!

How do you think they felt? Confused

John sent them to Jesus and he told them… (read verses 4-6).

Jesus had come to help people, but His great plan was for not for happiness in this life, but for perfect happiness in the next life with Him in heaven.

Sadly, in the end John lost his life. Herodias’ daughter Salome did a bit of a dirty dance in front of Herod and he got a bit excited, so he promised her anything she wanted. She asked her mum, and Herodias said she wanted John’s head on a plate. Herod was embarrassed so he cut John’s head off.

When Jesus heard his cousin had died he went away to be by himself.

What a sad story.

But the truth is that right now Jesus and John are together again, united in happiness in heaven. Jesus conquered death and it didn’t matter that John had his head cut off because Jesus gives us new bodies specially made for heaven, so we don’t need the old ones.

How do you think that John feels now? Overjoyed.

And you too will feel that way one day forever if you put your trust in Jesus TODAY.

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