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Bible Study: Connected to Christ - Baptism of Our Lord

Text: Matthew 3:13-17 for the First Sunday after Epiphany/Baptism of our Lord, Lectionary Series A

Download a PDF of the Bible Study: Connected to Christ - Baptism of our Lord Gospel

The participants will:

  1. Gain a greater understanding as to why it was necessary for Christ to be baptized.
  2. Have a better understanding of and discuss what "life" they have because of the righteousness Christ fulfilled.


Materials Needed
Prior to this lesson, let the participants know that you will be discussing Baptism. Have them bring something from their Baptism.


Group Guidelines
This Bible study is designed to begin in small group discussion of 5-6 youth. It is suggested that you gather the participants for the closing discussion. Have participants join with others having baptismal birthdays in the same month as theirs. If there are some months with too few participants, adjust accordingly. The participant with the first baptismal birthday of the month will serve as the leader. Write the discussion questions on a piece of newsprint and place in a visible area for participants to refer to throughout the study.


Building Community

  1. Have you been Baptized? If so, what was the date of your Baptism, and who are your sponsors? How do you celebrate that special day?
  2. Share what you have brought from your Baptism and what the day means to you.
  3. What does your Baptism mean to you? Have you discovered any benefits because you are Baptized?


Looking at God's Word

  1. Read Matthew 3:13-17.
  2. When Jesus came to John to be Baptized, John hesitated. Why would John hesitate to Baptize Jesus?
  3. Why was it necessary for Jesus to be Baptized? (verse 15)
  4. To be righteous is to make everything "square" with God. For Jesus to fulfill all righteousness, He was going to do whatever was necessary to settle all humanity's accounts with God. What do you think Jesus meant by "fulfill all righteousness"? What would it take to square everyone with God? Where would this lead Christ? Read Isaiah 53:12. Based on reading this verse, how do your answers to the previous questions change or stay the same?
  5. How do you think John knew that this was Christ, the Savior? (John 1:31)
  6. As a group, identify the three persons of the trinity in these verses. On the piece of newsprint given to you, draw how these three persons are shown in the verses. In the center of the picture, draw how "righteousness" was being fulfilled. Be prepared to share what you have drawn and discussed.
  7. Rejoin the small groups. Is the physical act of Baptism important for one's faith? Why or why not?
  8. Discuss the pictures each group has drawn.
  9. Read Matthew 17:1-9. How is this story (commonly called the "Transfiguration") similar to the Baptism of Jesus?


Reinforcing What Has Been Learned

  1. Christ's Baptism is meaningful to my life because...
  2. My Baptism connects me to Christ by making me...
  3. Because Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, God now sees me righteous. That means for me...


Move back to your small groups. Have one person stand in the center and the rest of the group put their hands on the center person's shoulders. (Remind participants to gently rest their hands on the individual's shoulders.) Have the group pray for the person in the center, thanking God for making him/her a child of God and for fulfilling all righteousness. Continue this until each person in the group has been prayed for.




Originally published in Discovery Bible Study 11, studies on the Gospel readings for lectionary series A, in 1998.

Republished and revised in January 2014 for thESource.

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