John was Jesus’ cousin and the first person to recognize him as the Christ (Luke 1:41-44). When he grew up, he became a preacher of the good news of Jesus Christ. He lived in the wilderness, wearing camels hair, and eating locusts and wild honey (Mark 1:6).
This lesson is simply giving an introduction to the person of John the Baptist. The most distinct thing about him is that he ate locust and wild honey. To a child that sounds so strange. And really, the point that Mark felt the need to describe this shows that it probably was strange even for his time. So when I ran across this wonderful idea on Instagram of letting kiddos actually taste test locust and honey, I had to jump on this. For this devotion we had a little taste test and culture lesson.
I’m probably losing you all here, but Locusts (Chapulines) are actually a specialty of Oaxaca, Mexico. Fun fact: when my husband and I had been dating only a few months, he gifted me some chapulines! He knew how much I liked to try new things, and was thoughtful enough to pick some up for me. Definitely, one of the most memorable moments from our dating season. So, when I found a shop on Etsy that sells chapulines, I had to journey down memory lane and snag some. And then I borrowed a few for our devotions.
Locust and Wild Honey
What you need
-Bible (or Storybook Bible)
*Remember Raw honey should not be consumed by babies under 1 year-old as it can cause botulism.
We simply read the passage about John the Baptist. Then I presented the honey and chapulines. We talked about how you can actually eat chapulines, and in some parts of Mexico they eat them as a snack or as taco filling. Then I gave Vale the chance to taste test.
And, as you you may have guessed, she did not take the chance to taste the chapulines. She did enjoy touching and feeling them. Which was my main goal: Simply providing a bit of sensory to this story. She also enjoyed taste-testing the honey.
You can see how this went in the video below:
Now that Naomi is 1, I did let her sample a little bit of the honey. I didn’t have her sample the chapulines, because they could pose a bit of a choking hazard.
Vale and I talked about how this diet was something special about John the Baptist. It looks pretty different to us. And it probably was a little different to the people around him. However, John had a special job God had given him and his diet was a sign of that.
Totally understandable if taste-testing some bugs is not on your list of things you want to try. Kid Min Mama has some more great ideas, and printables for exploring this lesson with little ones.
The Idea Room also has an adorable grasshopper craft using pipe cleaners and a clothespin.
Craftulate has a grasshopper snack that will hit craft time and snack time all at once.
The Significance of John the Baptist
John was chosen by God. His birth was a miracle and he was set apart for God’s purposes (Luke 1:5-25). John prepared the way for Jesus. In his commentary, David Guzik says that John came during a time when the people believed God no longer used prophets. They believed he had nothing more to say. However, John showed that this was not so. His lifestyle reflected that of Elijah, who fervently called the people to repentance. In the same way, John was calling the people to repentance in preparation of the Messiah. God’s plan for redemption was coming to completion, and John was calling the people to prepare their hearts. As we begin on this journey of lent, may we prepare our hearts to receive the gift of salvation only found in Christ’s death and resurrection.