John the Baptist’s Message

John The Baptist’s Message

John (to Pharisees and Sadducees): Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring fruits worthy of repentance (Show actions that reflect repentance). Don’t say to yourselves, Abraham is our father. God is able to raise up children of Abraham from these stones.

The axe is laid on the root of the trees: every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.

John (to the people): He who has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he who has meat, let him do likewise.

John (to the publicans): Do not exact more than that which is appointed you. (Publicans were Jews who collected taxes for the Romans. Some collected extra for their own pockets.)

John (to the soldiers): Do violence to no man, do not accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.

All men wondered in their hearts whether John was the Christ, or not.

John: I baptize you with water for repentance; but one mightier than I comes, whose shoes latchets I am not worthy to stoop down and unloosen. He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: (speaking of Jesus)

His fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather his wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

John preached many other things to the people.

Read Matthew 3:7-12, Mark 1:7-8 and Luke 3:7-18 for all the details of John the Baptist’s message.

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John the Baptist’s Ministry

Before we hear of Jesus again, we are told about John the Baptist.

He was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, and he was six months older than Jesus. Luke 1

John was sent from God. John 1:6

He wore camel’s hair and a belt made from animal skin.

He ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:6

John was in the wilderness when God called him, then he preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:2-3), saying, Repent because the kingdom of heaven is near. Matthew 3:2

John came as a witness, to bear witness of the Light (Jesus), that all men might believe. John was not that Light, but he came to bear witness of that Light. John 1:7-8

It is written, I will send my messenger before your face, he will prepare your way before you. Mark 1:2 (refers to Malachi 3:1)

It is written in Isaiah,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley will be filled, and every mountain

and hill will be brought low;

and the crooked ways will be made straight,

and the rough ways will be made smooth;

And all flesh will see the salvation of God.

Luke 3:4-6 (refers to Isaiah 40:3-5)

All the land of Judaea (and all the region round about Jordan – Matthew 3:5) and those of Jerusalem went out to John and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. Mark 1:4-5

Read about John the Baptist’s ministry in Matthew 3:1-6, Mark 1:2-6, Luke 3:1-6 and John 1:6-9.

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Jesus at Twelve

Luke 2:41-52

After Joseph brought Mary and Jesus from Egypt, we don’t hear anything about Jesus until he is 12 yrs old.

When Jesus was twelve, Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem for the Passover like they did every year.

When Joseph and Mary started home, Jesus stayed behind.

Days later they found him in the temple, sitting in the middle of the doctors. He listened to them and asked them questions.

All who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Mary: …Your father and I have searched for you sorrowing.

Jesus: …Didn’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?

They didn’t understand what he meant.

Jesus returned home with them and was obedient to them.

Again Mary kept all that happened in her heart.

Jesus grew physically. He also increased in wisdom and in favor with God and man.

We don’t hear anything more about Jesus for 18 years.

Read Luke 2:41-52 for all the details.

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Christmas Morning

The Christmas Story

Day 18

The Christmas story points to the cross.

Jesus was born to save us from our sin. How did he do that? He died on the cross, paying the death penalty for my sins and yours.

God made a plan for us to enter heaven before Adam sinned. God spoke of his plan when he spoke to Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden. His plan centered around sending His son to live among us and die for us.

But Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. Unless He defeated death, He couldn’t offer us life.

As you celebrate the birth of Jesus today, remember His death and resurrection also.

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Out of Egypt

The Christmas Story

Day 17

Joseph, Mary and Jesus stayed in Egypt until Herod died.

When Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared again to Joseph in a dream in Egypt. The angel said, Get up and take the young child and his mother and go into the land of Israel. Those who sought the young child’s life are dead.

Joseph got up, took Jesus and Mary, and they went into the land of Israel.

The prophecy spoken of the Lord by Hosea was fulfilled. “Out of Egypt I have called my son.” (Hosea 11:1)

Archelaus reigned in Judea in place of his father Herod. When Joseph heard this, he was afraid to go there, and he took his family into Galilee. Joseph came to Nazareth, and lived there, fulfilling the prophecy which said, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 2:15,19 -23

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To Egypt

The Christmas Story

Day 16

When the wise men left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. The angel said, “Get up and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt. Stay there until I bring you word, because Herod will seek to kill the young child.”

When Joseph got up, he took Jesus and Mary and went into Egypt during the night.

God provided for the family’s needs for their journey with the gifts the wise men brought.

When Herod realized that the wise men were not coming back, he was very angry.

He had all the children that were in Bethlehem and the surrounding area killed, from two years old and under, based on the time that the wise men had seen the star.

This killing fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah, which told of sorrow and weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they were dead. (Jeremiah 31:15)

Read Matthew 2:13-14,16-18 for the exact wording of these events.

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The Wise Men Find Jesus

The Christmas Story

Day15

After the wise men left Herod, they saw the star again, the one they had seen on the night Jesus was born. When they saw it, they rejoiced. The star went before them until it came and stood over the house where the young child was.

Herod had told the wise men to go to Bethlehem, but the star led them to where Jesus was. Jesus was no longer in a stable, he was in a house. He was no longer a babe, but a young child. Luke told us Joseph, Mary and Jesus had returned to Nazareth after Mary’s period of purification and her offering in the temple in Jerusalem. Luke 2:39

When the wise men entered the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshipped him.

Then they opened their treasures and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

God warned them in a dream that they should not return to Herod. So they went back to their own country another way.

Matthew 2:9-12

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