-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 and water baptism for repentance was to point out the truth of who Christ Jesus was. This is the turning away from the old ways of a sinful life with the realization that we are broken and need restoration and reconciliation. 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.
-John proclaims Jesus as the Messiah as He comes for baptism, which is 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 3:26-17