What Jesus Did! 'The Famine Is Over!' — Matthew 3:5-6

Thursday, January 19, 2017

People went to hear John. The people came from Jerusalem and all Judea and all the area around the Jordan River. People told the sins they had done, and John baptized them in the Jordan River.
— Matthew 3:5-6

Key Thought

There is something self-revealing in God's word when presented in all of its liberating and uncomfortable truth. Amos had warned God's people many years earlier that there would be a famine for God's word, a time when the voice of God through the prophets would go silent. John was the re-awakening of God's voice through a prophet. There was a clarity and ring of truth in his convicting message. He called people to a life-change through the confession of sins and baptism. People flocked to hear him, and then changed their lives based on John's message from God. John was not in a convenient location. John didn't have money or power to gain an audience. What was John's attractiveness? God's voice was recognizable in his preaching. The famine was over! People flocked to feed on the truth of God!

Today's Prayer

Holy and Righteous Father, give me a love for your truth and a passion for your word. Through your Spirit, please enable me to understand and apply your truth in my daily life. In the name of my Lord Jesus I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time John the Baptizer came and began telling people a message {from God}. This was in the desert area of Judea. John said, "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon." John the Baptizer is the one that Isaiah the prophet was talking about. Isaiah said: "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight.'" John's clothes were made from camel's hair. John had a leather belt around his waist. For food, John ate locusts and wild honey. People went to hear John. The people came from Jerusalem and all Judea and all the area around the Jordan River. People told the sins they had done, and John baptized them in the Jordan River. Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to the place where John was baptizing people. When John saw them he said to them: "You are all snakes! Who warned you to run away from God's anger that is coming? You must do the things that show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don't think that you can boast and say to yourselves, 'Abraham is our father.' I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks here. The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water to show that you changed your hearts and lives. But there is a person coming later that is greater than I am. I am not good enough to take off his shoes for him. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He will come ready to clean the grain. He will separate the good grain from the straw. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn. And he will burn the part that is not good. He will burn it with a fire that cannot be stopped." At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River. Jesus came to John and wanted John to baptize him. But John tried to say that he was not good enough to baptize Jesus. John said, "Why do you come to me to be baptized? Ishould be baptized by you!" Jesus answered, "Let it be this way for now. We should do all things that are right." So John agreed to baptize Jesus. Jesus was baptized and he came up out of the water. The sky opened, and he saw God's Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And a voice spoke from heaven. The voice said, "This (Jesus) is my Son and I love him. I am very pleased with him."

Matthew 3:1-17

Related Scripture Readings

The Lord says: "Look, the days are coming when I will cause a time of hunger in the land. The people will not be hungry for bread. The people will not be thirsty for water. No, the people will be hungry for words from the Lord. The people will wander around the country, from the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the north part of the country, to the east. The people will go back and forth looking for a message from the Lord. But they will not find it.

Amos 8:11-12

Tell me: When John baptized people, did that come from God or was it only from other people?" The priests and the Jewish leaders talked about Jesus' question. They said to each other, "If we answer, 'John's baptism was from God,' then Jesus will say, 'Then why didn't you believe John?' But we can't say John's baptism was from someone else. We are afraid of the people, because they all believe that John was a prophet. "

Matthew 21:25-26

While John's followers were leaving, Jesus began talking to the people about John. Jesus said, "What did you people go out to the desert to see? A weed blown by the wind? No! Really, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No! Those people that wear fine clothes live in king's palaces. So what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, and I tell you, John is more than a prophet. This Scripture was written about John: 'Listen! I (God) will send my helper ahead of you. He will prepare the way for you.'

Matthew 11:7-10

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.