20. John the Baptist’s ministry- Matt. 3:1-12, Mark 1:1-8, Luke 3:1-18, John 1:15-28
-John came as a voice in the wilderness to make the paths straight for the Lord to come with His grace and truth of salvation. He lived a humble life and simply called out people to repent from their sins so that they could receive forgiveness from the Lord. *Application* Becoming aware and admitting your mistakes and problems is the first step to recovery with Christ. Acknowledge where you have gone wrong and receive His mercy in true and genuine Godly sorrow, not just worldly guilt.
-John’s mission was to point out the truth of who Christ Jesus was. Jesus was the One who would baptize (immerse, totally occupy, cover something completely and fully) with His Holy Spirit and with fire. The Spirit is the One who comes into us as part of the new covenant as of Pentecost that works His transformation in our lives as we receive Him and His power. The fire aspect is one of Christ’s judgment when we look at the context of the Scripture. He will gather the wheat and burn the chaff (the useless part of the grain, in other words those who reject Him as Savior) (Matthew 3:12, Luke 3:17). *Application* Christ Jesus is the dividing line. What will you do with Him? Accept Him and receive His Spirit forever and be changed or reject Him and receive His just consequence of separation from Him and His love. The choice is always yours. His offer is on the table.
Verse to Memorize- Luke 3:16
21. Jesus’ baptism- Matt. 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, John 1:29-34
-John proclaims Jesus as the Messiah as He comes for baptism, not for the purpose of repentance but for fulfillment of righteousness (Matthew 3:15). John is hesitant to baptize Jesus knowing that He is greater and is already the Son of God and perfect in all ways, but he consents as Jesus implores him to do the work of this significant moment. The Trinity is in full picture here as the incarnate Son is consecrated by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and the voice of God is heard audibly from Heaven (Matthew 3:16-17, Mark 1:10-11, Luke 3:22, John 1:32). *Application* Just as John saw and testified that these things were true and that Jesus was the Son of God, we must also be witnesses of the grace and truth of our Lord’s saving power. Share the message wherever you go!
Verses to Memorize- Matthew 3:16-17
22. Temptation in the desert- Matt. 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Luke 4:1-13
-Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, which was an initiation into His public ministry of sorts, He is led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights with every temptation (Luke 4:13). After this period of prayer and fasting He became hungry and had to defend His righteousness against the attacks of the tempter. He used Scripture from the Torah to combat the enemy and his evil schemes designed to take Him down. *Application* When Satan comes at us we have to resist him through the Word of God alone and its proper interpretation. Don’t ever try to reason with him; he is crafty, manipulative, and cunning. Instead, rely on what God’s truth has clearly said and walk in His victory (Matthew 4:4,7,10, James 4:7). Don’t let Satan twist the Scriptures on you in an effort to trick and trip you up. Have discernment, study diligently, and call upon the Lord’s wisdom to avoid downfalls. We live on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4).
-Satan tried to usurp authority by getting Him to bow down and worship. In exchange he offered all the worldly kingdoms and their earthly glory. Nothing compares to the Kingdom of God and His righteousness though. *Application* We are part of His Kingdom and His glory is radiating through it all the time. It far surpasses anything this world has to offer, so don’t get fool by the “shiny things” (material possessions, power, etc.).
-How awesome it is to realize that after the temptation and struggle the ministering angels were there! *Application* We also will be comforted after a time of trial and testing when we endure the struggle through the Spirit’s power. Hang on brother and sister, you will come into marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Yes Lord, yes Lord, yes, yes Lord! Praise Your Name Jesus!
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 4:11
23. calling Andrew, Simon Peter, James, John- Luke 5:1-11, John 1:35-42
-God’s call is irrevocable (not to be taken back, not to be regretted, Romans 11:29). His call was placed on these humble disciples and they chose Him. There was nothing super special about them or their families. These were hard working fishermen that toiled day by day and night by night to eke out a living the best they knew how. But God saw their potential and willingness to go and follow Him into the unknown adventure that would change the course of human history. These men simply knew that they had found the Messiah (the Christ) and gave up everything to follow Him (John 1:41, Luke 5:11). The three, James, John, and Peter, became the Christ’s inner circle of discipleship and trust. Peter was handed the keys to the kingdom (Matthew 16:18-19), a care taker of the message of salvation for the world and with it great responsibility. *Application* This calling is upon our lives as well. Are you willing to heed the call of the LORD upon your life? There is great reward in Heaven if you do and blessings untold on this earth as well (Matthew 6:33). Don’t be like the rich young ruler who could not accept God’s call on his life and went away sad and without (Mark 10:17-22).
Verse to Memorize- Luke 5:11