29. John the Baptist is put into prison- Matt. 4:12; 14:3, Mark 1:14, Luke 3:19-20, John 3:24
-John was put in prison for his denouncement of the sin of Herod the tetrarch in Judea. He spoke out against the fact that Herod had taken Herodias as his wife from his brother, Philip, which was forbidden by the laws of Almighty God. At this time Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15).” *Application* Do we stand up for what is right even if it may have dire consequences? John feared God more than he feared man; therefore, as a prophet of the Lord he could call out the sin, which he observed and was known to all. This led to his imprisonment, but he knew he was doing the right thing in calling this national leader to repentance. In this time we also must lay down our well being if called upon to stand up for Godliness and righteousness in our nation and world. But, be prepared for the persecution when you do (Matthew 13:21, Luke 21:12-13, Acts 9:16). The Kingdom of God is still advancing just as it began back in the time of John the Baptist and Jesus. Carry on good soldier! Endure and persevere (Revelation 2:2-3).
Verse to Memorize- Luke 3:19-20
30. Jesus & Samaritan woman at the well- John 4:5-42
-Jesus breaks cultural norms and mores to have a conversation about salvation with a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well. The Christ was demonstrating the value of not only a woman in this instance, but a foreigner who was ridiculed and shunned by pure Jews. Jesus called out her sin in a loving manner and brought her to the realization that she needed Him, the Living Water that would never run dry. He revealed Himself to her as the Messiah, the true Jewish Savior (John 4:22, 26). It is here that Jesus tells how we are to worship the Father in spirit and truth. Spirit has to do with passion and emotion. It is the power and enthusiasm of God’s Holy Spirit that energizes our worship and makes it attractive to others who are observing. Truth has to do with accurately dividing the Word of God with proper theology and doctrine (2 Timothy 2:15). You can’t have one without the other. Passion with error is no good and truth without pizzazz compels no one. *Application* Worship your God in spirit and in truth.
-Jesus spends two more days there in Samaria and many believe because of the testimony of the woman. Jesus was so pumped by this reception to His Word that those around Him were urging Him to eat, but it was more important He told them to do the will of His Father and accomplish His work (John 4:34). This was His food; He was lifting His eyes and looking upon the white harvest fields of souls who could believe and enter into the Kingdom of God for eternal life (John 4:35-36). Verse 42 shares with us how they came to “know” Him for themselves and that they believed that He was the Savior of the world. *Application* Jesus knew that He had to go through Samaria (John 4:3-4). This was His appointed assignment and God reaped a harvest of souls because of the circumstances and obedience of the Savior. We must be open minded when God tells us to go to those who may not be exactly like us or seem too far gone to ever accept the good news of salvation. This woman had more than likely been given up by her people and no doubt the Jewish society, but Jesus saw her righteous potential and loved her into the Kingdom even going against what was culturally accepted. In the same way we must reach out to the lost and dying souls all around us that desperately need the good news of Christ Jesus and His salvation. God loves the whole world and so should we!
Verse to Memorize- John 4:24