Story Nine




After he was born in Bethlehem, Jesus grew to become a young man. When Jesus was about 30 years old, God sent a prophet to his people. His name was John. God sent him to prepare the way for Jesus. He lived in a place away from the towns. He stood near a large river and spoke to the people. And many people came to listen to what he had to say. ‘God’s kingdom is near,’ he said. ‘Turn away from your sins and turn back to God!’

And then the people asked John, ‘What should we do?’

So John said, ‘If you have two coats, give one to someone who does not have a coat. And if you have extra food give it to someone who is hungry.’

And the men who collected taxes asked him, ‘Well, what should we do?’

And John said, ‘Do not collect more taxes than you should. Do not keep the extra money for yourselves.’

And then some soldiers asked, ‘What should we do?’

So John said, ‘Do not make people give you money. Do not accuse people of things they did not do. Be happy with what you are paid.’

When people understood his message, John baptized them. He would put them down into the water. Then he would bring them back out again. This was a sign that they believed that what he said was true. That is why the people called him John the Baptist.

And then some people asked John, ‘Are you the Promised Saviour?’ But John said, ‘No, I am not the one. He is much greater than I am. I baptize you with water. But he will baptize you with God’s Spirit.’

One day, Jesus went to the river where John was speaking. He asked John to baptize him.

So John baptized Jesus. And, when Jesus came up out of the water, he prayed. And just then, the sky opened up. And God’s Spirit came down on him in the form of a small bird.

And a voice from heaven said, ‘You are my son, the one I love.  I am very pleased with you.’