Matthew 3:1-17 (3-24-14)
Matthew 3:1-3 (student read)
Question: What was John the Baptist’ main message? Repent, for the kingdom of God is near
Question: What does repent mean? To feel so sorry for sin or fault that you change your life for the better – turn away from your sin
Question: What is the kingdom of heaven? The kingdom of God. The word for heaven was another way of saying God not the place where God dwells. It represents the ruling, saving, liberating, redemptive acts of God. It is Christ on earth, the power of redemption, and the people who choose to follow Christ fully.
Matthew 3:4-6 (student read)
*Even though John the Baptist was a little strange - don’t take your fashion tips from him - the people believed his message and came to be baptized by him.
Question: Why do you think he dressed that way and ate such an odd diet? Student Response
Question: Why do you think people believed him?
*John the Baptist was a prophet. We don’t know why but prophet’s often dressed strangely even in the Old Testament times. 2 Kings 1:8
Matthew 3:7-10 (student read)
*The Pharisees and Sadducees are a great example of who NOT to be. They were great at obeying laws and doing “all the right things” but with an unclean and unrepentant heart. They were working with the wrong motives.
· *Having Christian parents does not make you a Christian.
· *Produce fruit that shows your repentance – meaning your heart is turned away from sin toward holiness and from that heart you will do good not evil.
· *Anyone – like the Pharisees and Sadducees – not producing good fruit from a repentant heart will be thrown in the fire.
*Later on in Matthew, Jesus says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me you evil doers!’” (Matthew 7:22-23) Why would he say that? Because their motives were wrong and their hearts were not right with God.
Matthew 3:11-12 (student read)
Question: Who is John the Baptist talking about? Jesus Christ
Question: John the Baptist baptizes with water. How will Jesus Christ baptize? With the Holy Spirit and fire
Question: Who is the wheat and what is the barn? Wheat = Christians Barn = Heaven (reward)
Question: Who is the chaff and what is the fire? Chaff = Non-Christians Fire = Hell (judgment)
*Side note – A winnowing fork was used to separate the good wheat from the useless chaff
*John the Baptist did not “save” people. The baptism illustrated what was happening in people’s hearts. The faith expressed through baptism was a public sign of repentance and that the person was ready for the Messiah’s salvation. Today we baptize in water to illustrate this same choice typically AFTER someone has accepted Jesus’ salvation.
Matthew 3:13-15 (student read)
*Jesus goes to John to be baptized and John is like “What are you doing here? You should be baptizing me!”
Matthew 2:16-17 (student read)
Question: When Jesus came out of the water, what descended? The Spirit of God like a dove
Question: Who is the voice of heaven? God
Question: What did the voice of heaven say? This is my Son, whom I love with him I am well pleased.
Ponder don’t answer: Is this something you wish your dad would say about you?
Ponder don’t answer: Is this something you want God, your heavenly father to say about you?
Question: What did Jesus do to “earn” this response from God? He obeyed.
Interesting Thoughts and Questions:
Listen and think:
Have you repented and turned your life over to Jesus?
Have you been baptized?
Are you producing good fruit?
When you get to the gates of heaven will God say “I never knew you” or will he say “I am well pleased.”? This isn’t a question of how much good work you do here on earth but where your heart is in what you do. What are your motives? To help yourself in your place on earth or to help the kingdom of God?