Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18

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READ the WORD

John The Baptist Prepares The Way For Jesus

Matthew 3:1-12 KJV 1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.

And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 12 Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Mark 1:1-8 KJV The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send My messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.

John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I (John) indeed have baptized you with water: but He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Luke 3:1-18 KJV Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: 17 Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable. 18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

STUDY the WORD

1. What was John the Baptist’s message (Matthew 3:2)? “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

2. What happened to trees that didn’t bear fruit (Matthew 3:10)? They were cut down and burned up.

2. With what was John baptizing (Mark 1:8)? With water.

3. With what was Jesus going to baptize (Mark 1:8)? With the Holy Ghost. In Luke 3:16 with what would Jesus be baptizing? with the Holy Ghost and fire.

4. What were the people told to do (Luke 3:10-11)? To share clothing and food with those who had no coat or food.

5. What were the publicans (tax collectors) told to do (Luke 3:12-13)? They were not to collect more taxes than required.

6. What were soldiers told to do (Luke 3:14)? They were not to extort money or accuse others falsely. And they were to be content with their pay.

HEAR the WORD

John the Baptist’s goal was to prepare the way for the Lord to enter a person’s life.  And it begins with repentance. 

MEDITATE on the WORD

In Luke 3:16 what does “He (Jesus) will baptize you with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit) and with fire” mean? My Bible notes say John’s baptism with water symbolized the washing away of sins. His baptism coordinated with his message of repentance and reformation. But Jesus’ baptism with fire included the power needed to do God’s will. The baptism with the Holy Spirit was fulfilled at Pentecost (see Acts 2) when the Holy Spirit came upon believers in the form of tongues of fire, empowering them to proclaim Jesus’ resurrection in many languages. The baptism with the fire also symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s judgment on those who refuse to repent. Have you been baptized with water, the Holy Spirit and fire?

MEMORIZE the WORD

Matthew 3:17 Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Mark 1:8 I (John) indeed have baptized you with water: but He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

EASY MEMORIZATION DIRECTIONS

1. Copy a verse you want to memorize on three individual index cards.

2. Choose three places you frequently go to each day and place one of the memory cards in view.

3. Each time you find yourself near one of the memory cards read it aloud.

4. After a week of reading the memory cards you will most likely be able to recall the verse/s without reading them.

5. Try it for a week and find out.

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

Just as people were curious about this oddly dressed man called John, we as Christian may seem odd to others. So we can use their simple curiosity as an opportunity to share what Christ has done in our life.

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

People who don’t know Jesus need to be prepared to meet Him.  When we explain repentance and forgiveness to them, we are preparing them as John did.  

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will take every opportunity to share our faith with others (Matthew 3:1).  I pray we will obey Your Word as You reveal it to us (Matthew 3:3).  I pray we will repent quickly when we recognize we’ve sinned (Matthew 3:6). I pray we will remember always to revere Your beloved Son with whom You are well pleased (Matthew 3:17). In Christ Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I always revere Jesus.” <>< Dona