John Begins His Ministry

old antique bible as an open book with sunlight bursting from the pages

Scripture is from the Holy Bible — New King James Version (NKJV)

Notes on Scripture (below) by tkbrown

Luke 1:76-80

76 — “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,”

77 — “To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,”

78 — “Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;”

79 — “To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 — “So, the child grew and became strong in spirit and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”

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Isaiah 40:3-5

3 — “The voice of one crying in the wilderness; prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

4 — “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth.”

5 — “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

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John prepares the way for Jesus

Matthew 3:1-12

1 — “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,”

2 — “and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!'”

3 — “For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'”

4 — “Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.”

5 — “Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him”

6 — “and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.”

7 — “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?'”

8 — “‘Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,'”

9 — “‘and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.'”

10 — “‘and even now the ax is laid in the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

11 — “‘I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

12 — “‘His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.'”

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Luke 3:1-20

1 — “Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,”

2 — “while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.”

3 — “And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,”

4 — “as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness; prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'”

5 — “‘Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough ways smooth;‘”

6 — “‘And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.‘”

7 — “Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized of him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?'”

8 — “‘Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father, for I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.'”

9 — “‘And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree which does not bear fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.'”

10 — “So, the people asked him, saying, ‘What shall we do then?'”

11 — “He answered and said to them, ‘He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.'”

12 — “Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?'”

13 — “And he said to them, ‘Collect no more than what is appointed for you'”

14 — “Likewise the soldiers asked him saying, ‘And what shall we do?’ So, he said to them, ‘Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.'”

15 — “Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,”

16 — “John answered, saying to all, ‘I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.'”

17 — “‘ His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.'”

18 — “And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.”

19 — “But Herod the tetrarch being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,”

20 — “also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.”

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John 1:15-28

15 — “John bore witness of Him and cried out saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'”

16 — “‘and of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.'”

17 — “‘For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.'”

18 — “‘No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. He has declared Him.'”

19 — “Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?'”

20 — “He confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.'”

21 — “And they asked him, ‘What then? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you the Prophet?’ And he answered, ‘No.'”

22 — “Then they said to him, ‘Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?'”

23 — “He said: ‘I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.'”

24 — “Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees.”

25 — “And they asked him, saying, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?'”

26 — “John answered them, saying, ‘I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know.'”

27 — “‘It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.'”

28 — “These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan where John was baptizing.”

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Mark 1:1-8

1 — “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.”

2 — “As it is written in the Prophets: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare Your way before You.‘”

3 — “‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.'”

4 — “John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

5 — “Then all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.”

6 — “Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.”

7 — “And he preached, saying, ‘There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.'”

8 — “‘I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'”

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Notes on Scripture: by tkbrown

Above, in Luke Chapter 1:76-80, we see the instructions John received regarding his purpose in life. In accordance with Isaiah’s prophecy, he ‘grew and became strong in spirit and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel,’ at which time he did prepare the way of the Lord. He cleared the path for Jesus Christ. In this lesson, we see that he showed Israel his was a baptism ‘unto repentance,’ but Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit to actually do the cleansing of their sins and to grant salvation to each who believes He is the Son of God and abides by the commands He has given.

John grew from childhood in the deserts and came from the wilderness to Judea and the Jordanian region to reveal the imminent presentation of God’s Son. He was clothed with camel hair cinched at the waist with a belt, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. His was truly a voice out of the wilderness, and he laid the way straight for the Lord. He taught that his baptism would never carry them to heaven. For that, they would require the baptism of Christ. During Christ’s ministry, we will see how we obtain that baptism. John’s message was: the One to come after him was preferred before him because He was before him.

We are shown that the Sadducees and Pharisees came to John and tried to ‘trip him up’ with questions. When they did this, John called them ‘A brood of Vipers’ and rebuked them–telling them they should bear fruit worthy of repentance if they were to receive the salvation of Jesus Christ. When they asked him to explain who he was, John told them–clearly–he was not Christ, he was not Elijah, and he was not the prophet. “So, who are you?” they asked. He responded, “‘I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness; make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.'” This explained to the priests and the Levites that the Christ had not yet been revealed, and John did not come to offer salvation, but to ‘prepare the way for the Lord.’

In the next lesson, we see that John introduced Jesus to Israel when He came to be baptized by John. We will also view Christ’s genealogy from Adam to Joseph and Mary and try to understand why that lineage is important to Christians. Then, we will see that–prior to the beginning of His ministry, Jesus went into the wilderness where he fasted and prayed for forty days. During this time, he was tempted of Satan in order that He could understand the temptations we as humans experience. This was one of the primary reasons for God sending His Son to earth–that He might understand the struggles of man in abiding by God’s law. This would aid Christ in His service as mediator between man and God. When man goes to God to ask forgiveness, Jesus understands the struggles that person has faced because He was human at one time. Thus, He is able to make intercession with God on our behalf.

As mentioned earlier, Christ offers salvation to all who believe He is the Son of God and abide in his teachings. With ‘winnowing fan’ in hand, Christ will ‘thoroughly clean the threshing floor,’ gather his wheat into the barn, and burn the chaff with ‘unquenchable fire.’

John taught them things they must change about their behavior if they were to attain the salvation offered by Christ Jesus. Repentance requires a change in behavior. John instructed them to share what they had. If one had two tunics and knew someone in need of one, they were to give to the one in need. The same with food. If one had more food than he or she would need, they should give part to someone who did not have enough. The tax collectors (who were known for taxing more than the amount assessed and thereby becoming wealthy off their own dishonesty) were to tax no more than that which was owed. The soldiers were told they must intimidate no one, and they were not to falsely accuse anyone. These are all lessons we can apply in our own lives today–especially now, with COVID-19 rampant about the world. In His ministry, Christ taught how we must live if we want Him to give us an eternal home in heaven.

Come back, join us in learning the ‘Christian way of living.’

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Week One -- Scripture: Zacharias to have Son . . . 
Week Two -- Scripture: Jesus' Birth Foretold . . . 
Week Three -- Scripture: Zacharias' son, John, is born . . .
Week Four -- Scripture: Jesus is Born . . .
Week Five -- Scripture: And Jesus Grew . . . 
Week Six -- Scripture: John Begins His Ministry . . .

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By tkbrown

I believe family is a gift from God and should be treated as such. I love writing with a broad array of intent and purpose. I have written poetry virtually all my life, and much nonfiction in academia. My expanded efforts in all areas have finally taken off in retirement. I have much to accomplish now that I have the time. Other hobbies are painting, researching ancestry and myriad topics for my writing, knitting, crocheting, cooking -- always trying new recipes and always cooking for my health. I have many other hobbies, but these seem to dominate most of my time. Oh, did I mention I am the mother of three grown children and grandmother of seven. I have been blessed immensely and am the happier for it.https://twitter.com/tkbrownwriter/photo

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