January 14, 2023
DAY 14 JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
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Focus Verses: Matthew 3:7-11, 4:7
Today, our journey continues through the Gospel of Matthew. Can you imagine being Matthew? He knew the incarnate Jesus Christ. He went fishing with Him. He watched, and learned evangelism from Jesus Christ. He was persecuted with Him. Matthew believed that Jesus was the risen Savior of the World. He believed this so much that he became a missionary. On a mission trip to Ethiopia, in Africa – a place so remote that few historians or Christians ventured – Matthew was impaled with spears to the ground and beheaded for his faith in Jesus, the risen Christ.
Ask the Lord for His understanding of Matthew 3-4. Read Matthew 3-4. Let’s journey!
Matthew 3-4: You will discover, as you read through today’s journey, there were two groups of Jews, two denominations if you will, who had differing views on the Jewish faith, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees believed in life after death. The Sadducees believed when a person died they ceased to be. The one thing the two groups had in common was they were prideful and self-righteous. Both believing they were better than the other. (Matthew 3:1-4:25)
Our focus verses for today clearly reveal the importance of repentance:
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:7-12, NIV)
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4:17, NIV)
John the Baptist called out the Pharisees and the Sadducees for being sinners. He told them that they had to turn from their sinful ways or be forever lost. As Jesus begins His ministry in Chapter 4, He too warns His listeners that they must repent of their sins. John the Baptist, the person chosen to announce the coming of Immanuel, preached repentance and Jesus (Immanuel) preached repentance. What does it mean to repent? Of what do you need to repent?
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