Day 4 of 90

90 DAYS THROUGH THE GOSPELS: Prayer - Care - Share with Jesus


MATTHEW 3

The Preaching of John the Baptist

1Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”3For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

“THE VOICE OF ONECRYING IN THE WILDERNESS,

‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD,

MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’”

4Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.5Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan;6and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?8“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;9and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham.10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him.14But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?”15But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him.16After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,17and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for Your Word and for the message of repentance and Your salvation. I want to live a life that bears fruit in keeping with my love and obedience to Your will, Word and ways. Convict me of my sinful ways and prompt me in Your righteousness; teach me the way I should go and how to share Your love and message. I want to prepare hearts for You just as John did in the wilderness. Let my words be acceptable to You and draw people to You; help me to be gentle and meek.

CARE: Throughout your days help to prepare hearts for Jesus just as John did; speak of Jesus’ love and power and the need for repentance and righteousness. Do not preach; just be prepared to speak truth with love, refusing to compromise your character or values at work, school, home or wherever you are. Jesus was baptized to identify with those He came to save not just in a ritual cleansing but to fulfill righteousness. People who care humble themselves in order to identify with the people they care about. Doing the right thing does not make us better than other people but it can make us an example. Prepare hearts though your words and actions.

SHARE: Verse seventeen tells of Jesus’ baptism and the voice of God from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” God loves us because we are His. Our obedience and commitment to serve Him pleases His heart. This is often different from other relationships whose affection is based on your actions or what you do for them. Someone you know or that you meet today needs to know that they are deeply loved by God; be prepared to share this message with them.

What do these verses mean to you in your life?