What Jesus Did! 'At the Door' — Matthew 3:1-2

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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."
— Matthew 3:1-2
Illustration of Matthew 3:1-2 — "Change your hearts and lives, because the kingdom of heaven is coming soon."

Key Thought

So often the things we most desire, the things we are looking for most earnestly, are near us, but we miss them. "If it had been a snake, it would have bitten you," I heard growing up. We would "give our eye teeth" to have been witnesses of all the things that will transpire from the baptism of John down to the giving of the Great Commission. We will see so many people who come into Matthew's story of Jesus and who just flat out miss him and God's Kingdom. How could they be so close to Jesus and not recognize him? The Kingdom and God's Son are right in front of their eyes! But, the key to finding the Kingdom, both in their day and in our own, is our willingness to change our hearts and reform our lives to live passionately for God as we trust his grace to save and redeem us. Those who followed John were ready to find Jesus and his Kingdom. Those who refused to repent missed it.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, Almighty Father, and King of Heaven, I confess that I often lose my way and live for myself. This selfishness hurts my family, those I work with, and especially me. But, dear Father, I know it hurts you most of all, because it blinds me to your truth, hardens me to your grace, and makes it so difficult for me to yield my life to Jesus as Lord. By the power of your Spirit, transform me to be like your Son. In Jesus' name 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."

Matthew 3:1-12

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus said, "It will be bad for you Chorazin. It will be bad for you Bethsaida. I did many miracles in you. If those same miracles had happened in Tyre and Sidon, then those people in Tyre and Sidon would have changed their lives a long time ago. Those people would have worn sackcloth and put ashes on themselves to show that they were sorry for their sins.

Matthew 11:21

Stay away from foolish and stupid arguments. You know that those arguments grow into bigger arguments. A servant of the Lord must not argue! He must be kind to every person. A servant of the Lord must be a good teacher. He must be patient. The Lord's servant must gently teach those people that don't agree with him. Maybe God will let those people change their hearts so that they can accept the truth. The devil has trapped those people and makes them do what he wants. But maybe they can wake up {and see that the devil is using them} and free themselves from the devil's trap.

2 Timothy 2:23-26

But we speak God's secret wisdom. This wisdom has been hidden {from people}. God planned this wisdom for our glory. He planned it before the world began. None of the rulers of this world understood this wisdom. If they had understood it, then they would not have killed our glorious Lord on a cross.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8

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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.