Previously we looked at why Christ is referred to as the Word, and why He became flesh. Through Him, we receive mercy, truth, and grace. But this is because we have received the fulfillment of His death and resurrection. John the Baptist was preparing people to understand this, and this is where we will start today.
John the Baptist is discussed in all four Gospels, so I did my best to cover the story cohesively for you. If I find a scripture not repeated, I’ll note which book specifies it.
He prepared the way for Christ, he baptized Christ, he witnessed God’s glory on Christ, and then later he went to prison.
Today’s Reading: Matthew 3:01-12, Mark 1:01-08, Luke 3:01-20, John 1:19-28
John Prepares The Way
Scriptures- Matthew 3:01-12, Mark 1:01-08, Luke 3:01-18, John 1:19-28
If you recall, he had been in the desert since he was young proclaiming the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matt. c.3 v.2). Christ was coming.
John the Baptist came baptizing in the wilderness, and he preached a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Luke c.3 v,3). (Not saying baptism is not important, just focusing on this powerful statement is all).
All of Judea and those from Jerusalem went out to him and were baptized in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. This is huge! They are not sacrificing animals! Instead, they are repenting and confessing their sins out loud.
Brood Of Vipers & How To Bear The Right Fruit
(Matt. c.3 v.7-10) He notices many Pharisees and Sadducees come out to his baptism. He speaks to them calling them a brood (family) of vipers (venomous snake, but in regards to people a deceiving person.) “Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” He tells them (v.8) to bear fruits worthy of repentance. WOW!
(Continuing Matt.) He warns them not to rely on having Abraham as their father. John says (v.9) God can raise up children to Abraham from rocks! He also adds a similar message Christ later teaches. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cast down and thrown into the fire.
(Luke c.3 v.10-14) The book of Luke follows the fruit-bearing story adding the people asked him what they should do instead. He answered (v.11) if one has two tunics give to those who have none. If one has food, do the same. Tax collectors asked what they should do. He answered to collect no more than what was appointed for them. The soldiers asked what to do. He said for them not to intimidate or accuse falsely, and for them to be content with their wages.
John the Baptist Questioned & Christ Cleaning The Threshing Floor
John was clothed with camel hair, he had a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts with wild honey. People were wondering if he was the Christ. (John c.1 v.19-28 expands) Priests and Levites were sent to know, and he confessed, “I am not the Christ.” They wanted to know if he then was Elijah. If he was the Prophet. To which both, he answered, “No.” He quoted scripture in Isaiah, he was the one who called out in the desert and to make straight the way of the Lord.
The ones who sent them were from the Pharisees, thus they asked why he baptized with water.
He preached about Christ, saying One would come after him who he was not worthy to even touch His sandals. He explained that though he baptized with water, this Man would baptize with the Holy Spirit.
It is explained that Christ will clean out His threshing floor (the seeds or grain on the ground), and gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (a fire that never goes out).
Remember how Christ says the harvest is ready but the laborers are few?
What To Take Away – There is so much in these verses that I do not really know what to focus on. I think it is important to understand that baptism is so much more than being dunked in water. Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and we can only have the baptism of the Holy Spirit through accepting the salvation of Christ, and repenting of our sins.
It is crucial we show others what it means to be like Christ through kindness, and reaching out to those who need help.
Next time we will see Christ be baptized and John bear witness.
If you would like to learn more about salvation see these two posts.
What do you think of the visual of the threshing floor?
Monthly Scripture – (NKJ) Proverbs 18:13, “He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him.”
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