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Discovering the Son of God

What John Discovered

The baby named Jesus grew to be a man. He worked with Joseph as a carpenter. He did not seem very different than other people. He was different in one way. He was unusually good. He never did anything wrong. He was also very religious.

Another young man grew up in the same part of the country. The man was Jesus’ relative, John the son of Zacharias. John was a good boy too, but not nearly as good as Jesus. Jesus and John probably knew each other because their mothers were cousins.

When Jesus and John were about thirty years old, God’s Spirit started to work in John. John became a prophet. God told John what to say. Then, John told the people what God wanted them to do.

John lived a hard life. He dressed in rough clothing and ate the food he could find in the desert. But God was with him. John said the kingdom of God would begin soon. He warned people that they needed to make peace with God.

The Jews believed that one day God would send Christ to be King. They wanted Christ to set them free from the Romans and make them a powerful nation. They didn’t understand that Christ would set all people free spiritually.

The Jews in those days were very religious. But like all religious people, they didn’t always live as their religion taught. Some of the most religious people secretly did evil when no one was looking. John warned everyone to stop sinning. Christ was coming. They must do right if they wanted to follow Christ.

Many people were sorry for their sins. They chose to do better. Changing their minds about sin was called repentance. Those who repented asked John to baptize them. John baptized them by dipping them under water. Baptism showed that God was forgiving, or washing away, their sins. It also showed that they wanted to begin new lives. John baptized many people.

John impressed many of the Jews. They could tell God was with him. Some people began to think John must be Christ.

John said, "I am not Christ. I have only come to make things ready for Him. Christ is coming after me. I am not good enough to bend down and untie His shoe. He is more important than I am."

John did not know who Christ was. He only knew God had promised to show Christ to him. God had told John how he would know Christ. He would see the Spirit of God coming down on Him and staying on Him.

The Bible talks about the Son of God. It talks about the Father. It also talks about the Spirit of God or the Holy Spirit. Because of these words, many people think that Christians believe in three Gods. This is not true. Christians believe in one God. We believe that within that one God are three Persons. The Persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each of them has His own personality. They are also together in such a way that they are only one. It is a very hard teaching to understand. It is impossible for a human to be three and one at the same time. God is not a human. He is a Spirit. God can be three and one at the same time because He is a Spirit.

One day, John saw his cousin Jesus coming to be baptized. John did not like this. Jesus was a better man than he was. He said, "I need to be baptized by You."

Jesus said, "We should do all the good things we can." He wanted to be baptized to show his love for God.

John dipped Jesus in the water.

Something wonderful happened when Jesus came out of the water. The Holy Spirit came down from Heaven. People can’t see spirits. God took the shape of a dove so they could see what was happening. The dove landed on Jesus and stayed. The voice of God the Father said, "This is my beloved Son. I am well pleased with Him."

The Holy Spirit didn’t keep the shape of a dove. He became invisible again when he had shown that He was with Jesus.

John said, "God told me I would see the Holy Spirit come down on somebody and stay with him. That man would be Christ. I saw the Holy Spirit come and stay on Jesus."

Now, John knew that Jesus was the Son of God.

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