by Marian O’Brien, MTh
This Complete-A-Project Bible Search activity is for teacher and students (grades
4-6) working together. This Bible Search is based on the Gospel for the Baptism
of the Lord (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22).
* All of Luke’s Gospel (both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles)
illustrates how God has been at work in human history from his involvement with
Israel in the Old Testament through the ministry of Jesus and into the life of
the Church. Through the Church, especially the Sacraments, Jesus continues his
saving ministry. The Sacraments provide a personal encounter with Jesus that
demonstrates the love and concern he has for us. They are the mysteries of our
salvation that make us partners in Jesus’ saving ministry.
* This Gospel focuses on the events of Jesus’ baptism. We learn important facts about
both John the Baptist and Jesus.
* John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets who announces the coming of
the Messiah. He is also the herald announcing the age of the Messiah.
* The baptism that John offers is one of repentance, forgiveness, and conversion.
John baptizes Jews, Gentiles, and even Roman soldiers.
* Jesus is one of the people in a large crowd that has assembled to be baptized.
* Jesus’ baptism reveals him as the Son of God and chronicles the descent of the Holy
Spirit on him (3:22).
* Luke’s Gospel identifies John the Baptist as the forerunner of the Messiah and not the Messiah himself (3:16-17). John makes his point by highlighting the distinction between the kind of baptism he offers (water) with the kind of baptism the Messiah will bring (baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire).
* Luke’s Gospel points to the role of prayer in the coming of the Spirit. Verse 3:21 mentions that, after everyone has been baptized and Jesus is praying, “heaven was opened.” Luke highlights the importance of prayer by the frequent mention of Jesus at
prayer in his Gospel.
* The appearance of the Spirit in the form of a real dove is proof that this is an
act of God. God identifies Jesus as the one who represents God on earth and
through whom God will act in the world.
* Before Jesus ascends into heaven, he tells his disciples; “Go, therefore, and make
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19-20). The Sacrament of Baptism,
then, is the Sacrament that joins us to Jesus through his Church and engages us
in his holy mission.
1. Is he the Messiah?
2. Holy Spirit and fire
4. A dove
6. Both of these
—Guide and activity sheet by Marian O’Brien, MTh; art by Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ
Copies of the activity sheet [CLICK HERE]
Bibles (The search is based on the New American Bible.)
Pencils or pens
1. Have a student read aloud the opening of story about Jeffrey, then ask students these questions: Why is Jeffrey confused about the Sacrament of Baptism? (He doesn’t
understand how Baptism can make us disciples of Jesus). What important things
does Jeffrey learn about Baptism? (Jesus is present in the Sacrament of
Baptism; Jesus’ love and the gift of the Spirit give us what we need to be good
disciples; Jesus’ love is made present in the world through the good actions of
all his disciples.)
2. Explain that when Jesus ascends into heaven, he tells his disciples that he will still be with them. Jesus knows his disciples will need him if they are to carry out his work in the world. Through his Church and particularly through the Sacraments, Jesus still works in our lives.
3. Explain that Baptism and all the Sacraments are powerful mysteries of salvation. Baptism unites us to the Church of Jesus and makes us brothers and sisters of all who believe in him. The Spirit we receive in Baptism gives us strength to be disciples of Jesus and to do his work in the world today.
4. Have students read Luke 3:15-16, 21-22 in their Bibles.
5. Have students close their Bibles and work individually or in pairs to answer the questions on the activity sheet. Read the correct answers and let students see how many they got right.
6. Summarize the material from the Background.
7. Have a student read the closing to the story. It is important to stress that Jesus gave us the Church and the Sacraments so that he would always be with us.
Copyright 2013, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.
This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, December 2012
Image Credit: Shutter Stock 6709591