December 5th – Matthew 3:1-10

Spend some time meditating on this message of repentance. Then, come back and read the commentary, my verse, and my response.

  • Request God’s help.
  • Read Matthew 3:1-10
  • Record a verse that stands out to you.
  • Respond to God.

Come back and read the commentary when you’re done…

John the Baptist prepared a way for the LORD by proclaiming, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near” (NIV). In essence, he was the one who was blessed with the task of rolling out the red carpet for the King. Understanding his role, John was unashamed of his unconventional presentation and called people to repentance in the wilderness of Judea with boldness. Yes, his appearance and attitude were that of the prophet he represented, but the location was not random either. The wilderness symbolized Israel’s wandering in the desert for forty years. The entire production was a map that led to the promised land–the long-awaited Messiah.

Moreover, John the Baptist was a unique man. First, verse three reveals yet another prophecy that was fulfilled by John’s herald. Second, he dressed funny. Third, he ate odd food. Fourth, he was unusually harsh with the Pharisees. In bold submission to God, John called the Pharisees a brood of vipers, invited them to repent, and warned them of their destruction! That was not a typical day in the life of a Pharisee.

When would it be appropriate to boldly speak the truth like John the Baptist did with the Pharisees?

My Verse: Matthew 3:9: “And 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” (NIV).

My Response: This refers to God’s promise to Abraham that God would create a great nation through his seed. (I love how scripture interprets scripture.) In the same way God gave Abraham and Sara a child long past their time of childbearing, John is telling the Pharisees that God will raise children “for Abraham” regardless of whether the Jewish people repent or not. This was also a hint that God was going to do something new. Gentiles and Jews would become one through the blood covenant of Jesus Christ. No longer would you be considered God’s child because of Jewish ancestry, but because you are in Christ, adopted and redeemed.

Father, thank you for Your blood-covenant. You made a way for me to become a new creation. You made a way for me to be called a child of God. Empower me with the boldness of John the Baptist to do the work You call me to do to make way for Jesus in the lives of those around me who don’t know Him yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Sharon Gamble
    December 5, 2023 8:59 pm

    My verse: Matthew 2:14 “That night Joseph left for Egypt with the child and Mary, his mother.”

    I can’t imagine Ray waking me up in the middle of the night and telling me to pack quickly because we were Right Now moving to another country. How frightening it must have been for Mary and Joseph! And so disorienting when they already were living in a disorienting world. Thank You, Lord, for this beautiful couple who said “yes” to You over and over … even when it was very, very hard. Help me to be more like them.


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