Faith Quest

The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus

January 2 - January 30, 2005

Praising Puppets


Scripture:    Matthew 3:13-4:11


Memory Verse:   “Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are.  But he did not sin!”  Hebrews 4:15 (CEV)


Offering:  Hospice of Wake County



  • God calls us to be baptized to show we are God’s children.



  • The children will hear about Jesus’ baptism from the Bible.
  • Learn about a cleansing tradition from the Old Testament.
  • Hear an explanation of sin and how Jesus can take care of our sin for us.
  • Hear some examples of how God has used water to achieve his purposes.
  • Learn that God calls us all to be baptized. 
  • There is also some explanation of the Holy Spirit.



Welcome and Introductions:

  1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags.  If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge.  Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
  2. Tell the children that today they are going to use puppets to think about baptism.



Bible Story: 

1.      You will be reading the scripture passage using the attached version.  Please practice reading this aloud several times before you teach. Practice will help you decide where to put the emphasis.  You might want to mark words to emphasize.  Before reading it to the children, you can tell them that this story comes at the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry—before most of the other stories we hear about Jesus.      

2.      Try to keep the Bible story to 5 minutes because this is a long lesson.  After the first week, you might even just cover the baptism part of the Bible story.   

3.      After the Bible story, ask the children some questions.  Possible questions:   In the baptism part of the story, Jesus goes to the Jordan River to be baptized by whom?  John the Baptist.  Did John want to baptize Jesus at first? No Why not? He knew Jesus was the Son of God and did not think Jesus needed to be baptized by him. Why did Jesus say he needed to be baptized?  “We must do all that God wants us to do.” Did John baptize Jesus then? Yes, he was obedient to God.    



Note:  The skits for this lesson are interwoven with things for you to discuss with the children. 

You have several options of who will read the parts during the puppet skits:

  1. You may allow each child to read and act out his/her own puppet part.   I believe this is how most Faith Quest skits are done.  With this option, you may encounter 1st and 2nd graders who don’t read well.  Practice may overcome this.  You can also have an adult read the part of a child who does not want to or cannot read his or her own.  If the children read their own parts, you might consider doing the skits without the stage just so their voices can be heard.  The skit content is important and I worry that the children in the audience may not really hear it.
  2. You can choose a narrator (a shepherd or workshop leader) to read all of the puppet parts while children act out with the puppets. 
  3. You may pre-record the entire skit on cassette tape before Sunday and let the children act it out.


  1. Tell the children:  “We have a new puppet procedure we are going to follow during our study of baptism.”   Ask them to line up facing the stage and read the following instructions out loud:


“When children of the Kirk are to use puppets, there will be a ceremony to wash their puppet hand.  Put a large bowl between the puppet stage and the children.  (Place the bowl or if already in place, point to the bowl.)  Each child will come to the bowl and hold their puppet hand over the bowl.  Pour clean water that has nothing wrong with it over the hand.  Give the child a paper towel.   Have the child dry their hand and put the paper towel in trash can outside the puppet area.  Give the child a puppet.  Have the child put the puppet onto the clean hand.  When all children have washed and put on puppets, then they will be ready to perform a skit to please the audience.  These things are to be done exactly as the lesson has commanded.”

(For the workshop leader’s information only:  These instructions are similar to instructions to wash and prepare Levite priests during Old Testament times as prescribed in Exodus 29:4, 40:12, 40:31; Leviticus 8:5-6, 16:23-24; and Numbers 8:21, 19:9.)

  1. Continue by saying, “What we just did to get ready for puppets is similar to what Israelite priests had to do to get ready for their jobs.  God gave Moses very detailed instructions for the priests about how to wash away sin and to dress before they entered a special part of the temple.  These instructions are written down in the Bible, in the Old Testament.   Why might God have asked the priests to wash and dress before doing their job? Encourage answers, but conclude with the idea that we don’t always understand why God asks us to do some things, but have faith that God has a good reason for his instructions.  Maybe God wanted to remind these men that even though He had chosen them to be priests and help other people with their sins, that they themselves had sin that needed to be “washed away” by asking God’s forgiveness.  Maybe he also wanted them to show obedience or just feel ready to do their special job.  So do you feel ready to perform with puppets?
  2. Pass out the scripts.  You might want to group the children into skit groups (x,x,x,x,y)  if there are more children than parts, plan to do one or more skits twice so that everyone who wants to (most do) gets a chance to perform.  Allow the groups 5 minutes to practice their scripts.  Space out all the adults in the room to help with the script practice.  Grades 1 & 2: The shepherd and workshop leader should help with the scripts, perhaps even “speaking” the voices while the children act them out.  As mentioned before, if one child is uncomfortable with reading, and you have planned for children to speak their parts, one of the adults present can read the words for this child.
  3. If you have to repeat a skit to give everyone a turn, hold the discussion following that skit until the last time you have repeated the skit.
  4. Tell the children:  “All through the Old Testament times before Jesus came, the Israelites had to keep washing away their sins over and over and over.  Do we have sins that need to be washed away today?  Let’s watch two skits to find out.”  Have children perform Skits 1 and 2.
  5. After the skits, have everyone sit down, asking, “So do we have to wash away our sins today like the priests did?   No.  Who washes away our sins?  God does through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
  6. Tell the children:  When we cleaned our hands with the big bowl and water, did that remind you of anything?  Baptismal font  What happens during a baptism at the Kirk?   Try to get some of these details:  Parent(s)/family who believe in Christ bring their child to church to be baptized; sometimes an adult is baptized; the baptismal font is filled with water; pastor/minister sprinkles the child/adult with water and baptizes the child/adult in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost and says that the child or adult is sealed by the Holy Spirit; children of the church and the congregation agree to help this person grow up in the church and learn about God and Jesus.  Why do you think our church baptizes people?  Accept any answers but conclude with that after Jesus rose from death and  right before He ascended into heaven, He commanded his followers to go out and make believers of everyone and baptize them in His name.  Remember our Bible story for today?  Who was baptized in that story?  Jesus  Why was he baptized?  Jesus said it was to because we must do all that God wants us to do, so God wanted Jesus and all believers to be baptized. 
  7. Ask the children, let’s look at a skit that tells us about how God has used water and continues to use water to do what He wants to do.  Have children perform Skit 3.
  8. Tell the children:  “In the Bible, John the Baptist said that he baptized with water but that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Spirit.  And we keep hearing about the Holy Spirit, but you might not really understand who or what that is.  These puppets are going to tell us more.”  Have the children perform Skit 4. 
  9. You can ask the children if they have any questions about the Holy Spirit if you feel like you want to answer them.  Otherwise, just move on to the wrap-up and let the Holy Spirit reveal himself to the children!



Have the children put their puppets back neatly. 

Reflection Time:

  1. At 10:35 AM, I do not think you will have time to do this section, but if you do, ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers.  Tell the younger children to draw a picture of Jesus’ baptism or a baptism at the Kirk.  If you and shepherd(s) have time, go around to each child and write a short caption on the picture so parents will understand the picture (parents really appreciate this).   Tell the older children to think about baptism and try to write something they learned today. If they finish early, they can illustrate. 
  2. At 10:45 AM. ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.



Prayer:  Thank you God for loving us so much that He calls everyone to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen. 


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up. 


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.      Pray:  Ask God to give you clarity of this scripture and words to teach His children this lesson.  Ask for time management.

2.      Attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

3.      Prepare a closing prayer if you do not want to use the one included.

4.      Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.

5.      Make at least 6 copies of each script—one for each puppet in the skit and one for you and the shepherd.  On the puppet scripts, highlight the parts for each puppet. 

6.      For this workshop, you will want the puppets out near the stage, but you will need to tell the children to leave the puppets alone because the puppets will be handed out a different way for this lesson. 



Large Bowl—the closet in the new kitchen has several.

Water (two pitchers)—the new kitchen has many pitchers.

Copies of the scripts



Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study in August 2004


Matthew 3

The Baptism of Jesus
13Jesus left Galilee and went to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14But John kept objecting and said, "I ought to be baptized by you. Why have you come to me?"
15Jesus answered, "For now this is how it should be, because we must do all that God wants us to do." Then John agreed.
16So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as he came out of the water, the sky opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. 17Then a voice from heaven said, "This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him."

Matthew 4

Jesus and the Devil
1The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, so that the devil could test him. 2After Jesus had gone without eating for forty days and nights, he was very hungry. 3Then the devil came to him and said, "If you are God's Son, tell these stones to turn into bread." 4Jesus answered, "The Scriptures say:
`No one can live only on food.
People need every word
that God has spoken.' "
5Next, the devil took Jesus to the holy city and had him stand on the highest part of the temple. 6The devil said, "If you are God's Son, jump off. The Scriptures say:
`God will give his angels
orders about you.
They will catch you
in their arms,
and you won't hurt
your feet on the stones.' "
7Jesus answered, "The Scriptures also say, `Don't try to test the Lord your God!' "
8Finally, the devil took Jesus up on a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms on earth and their power. 9The devil said to him, "I will give all this to you, if you will bow down and worship me."
10Jesus answered, "Go away Satan! The Scriptures say:
`Worship the Lord your God
and serve only him.' "
11Then the devil left Jesus, and angels came to help him.

Skit 1  

(Start with only Puppet 1 showing  above the stage.)

Puppet 1:  I need some help understanding sin.  Can anyone help me?  

(The other puppets pop up.)

Puppet 2, 3, 4:  We’ll try to help!  We’re from the Kirk of Kildaire!

Puppet 1:  What is sin?  Is it only bad things like killing?     

Puppet 2:  Sin is all the things that God doesn’t like, such as being selfish or not paying attention to God or not obeying the Ten Commandments.

Puppet 1:  What happens if I sin by mistake?

Puppet 3:  Hopefully you do only sin “by mistake.”  We all sin because we aren’t perfect.  Jesus is the only person who never sinned. 

Puppet 4:  But we don’t have to worry about sin because of Jesus. 

Puppet 1:  What does Jesus have to do with sin?  You said he never sinned.   

Puppet 4:  Jesus, who is the “Son” part of God, came to earth as a human.  He led a perfect life without sin to show us how to do it.     

Puppet 2:  The most important thing that Jesus did is that he came to die on a cross.  His death was the punishment for our sins.  It’s kind of like he came to do one big time-out for all the sins that any human being has ever done or will ever do.

Puppet 1:  Why did he do that?

Puppet 3:  Because God loves us and does not want us to have to pay for our sins.

Puppet 1:  So I won’t be punished for sins I do?

Puppet 3:  Not as long as you believe Jesus is the Son of God and that you need his death to pay for your sins.  What a gift God has given us!  Someone to take the punishment for our sins!

Puppet 4:  Of course, God still wants your parents and teachers to discipline you here on earth to teach you how to behave. 

Puppet 2:  And if you really believe in Jesus, you will try very hard not to do any bad things.

Skit 2

Sales Puppet 1:  (Yelling) Buy my new sin cleanser. Buy my new sin cleanser… 

Buyer Puppet 1 & 2:  Oh, we’ve got some sins we’d like to get rid of. 

Sales Puppet 2:  No, please use this super sin cleanser. 

Buyer Puppet 1:  Hmmm, which one should we get?

Buyer Puppet 2:  Let’s find out more about them.

Sales Puppet 1:  Mine will clean almost any sin from your life.

Sales Puppet 2:  Mine works on ALL sins.

Buyer Puppet 1:  That sounds good.  Let’s get that…

Sales Puppet 1:  Mine is easy to use--just pour on, and repeat daily if you sin again.

Buyer Puppet 2:  Easy to use and reusable…great! 

Sales Puppet 2:  Mine is once and for all.  Do it once, and you’re done.

Buyer Puppet 1:  Once and for all.  How does that work?

Sales Puppet 2:  It’s amazing.  It works from the inside out.  It gradually reduces   the desire to sin while getting rid of your sins at the same time forever. 

Buyer Puppet 2:  Amazing, let’s get it…

Sales Puppet 1:  (Yelling) Mine is only $5, and if you buy it today I’ll let you have two bottles for just $8.

Buyer Puppet 1:  Ooh…I love deals.

Sales Puppet 2:  Mine is free…everyday.

Buyer Puppet 2:  Ooh free.  We’ll take it.

Sales Puppet 2:  OK, Here it is:  just believe and say, “Jesus is Lord.” 

Buyer Puppet 1:  That’s it--easy to do and no cost.  Why wouldn’t everyone want it?

Sales Puppet 2:  They should.  We’re trying to get more sales puppets on board to tell everyone.  Would you like to be one? 

Skit 3

Creation Waters, the Puppet:  Hi, I’m the Creation Waters.  I wanted to share my story with you.  A long time ago, in the beginning, God created me.  At first it was dark, and I sensed the Spirit of God moving over me.  Then I heard God say, “Let there be light,” and there was!!  Then God separated the light and the darkness in “day” and “night.”    Then God said, “Let there be a dome to separate the water above and the water below,” and he called this “sky.”  Then God said, “Let the waters be gathered together in one place,” so I bunched myself up and dry land appeared.  He called that “land,” and then he called me “ocean.”   Then God went on to create plants, and stars, and the Sun and the Moon, and creatures—some were swimming around inside of me!  Then he made humans, like you, and you know the rest of the story.  But it was amazing how God used water to do what he wanted to do.


Noah:  I’m Noah.  A long time ago, God wanted to cleanse away a lot of sin from the Earth.  He decided to do this by letting it rain forty days and forty nights and let the rain flood the earth.  God told me to build an ark because he was going to save my family and me.  And after it was over, God made a promise that this would never happen again.  God put a rainbow in the sky as a sign of this promise.  It was amazing how God used water to do what he wanted to do.


Moses:  I’m Moses.  God sent me to lead all the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  I had to use lots of plagues to make the Pharaoh let the Israelites go, and the Pharaoh finally did let us go.  But then he changed his mind and had his armies chase after us.  We came to the Red Sea, and we all thought we’d be caught and taken back to Egypt.  But then God came through for us like he always does, and He parted the waters of the Red Sea.  We easily went through the Sea on dry land, then God closed the waters back up so the Egyptians couldn’t catch us.  It was amazing how God used water to do what he wanted to do.


Baptism Waters:  I’m baptism waters.  God uses me during baptism.  He wants people to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.  When you are baptized, you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This is a promise for everyone whom the LORD our God calls to him.  It is amazing how God uses water to do what he wants to do.

Skit 4

Puppet 1:  The Bible says the Holy Spirit was there during creation.

Puppet 2:  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit allowed prophets to prophesize.

Puppet 3:  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus when he was baptized, and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Puppet 4:  The Bible says we receive the gift Holy Spirit when we are baptized.  The Holy Spirit is poured into our hearts.

Puppet 1:  The Bible says that if we ask God to fill us with more of the Holy Spirit, God will do this.

Puppet 2:  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit teaches and reminds us of things about God.

Puppet 3:  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is an advocate for us.   An advocate is someone who speaks up for you.

Puppet 4:  The Bible says that the Holy Spirit will give you the words to talk about Jesus in certain situations.

Narrator:  Thank you puppets for teaching us about the Holy Spirit.