"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
This study is an addition to the author’s popular “Back Side” books.
J. Ellsworth Kalas presents new insight into twelve of Jesus’ parables by entering them through a unique starting point, a creative retelling, a new “lens,” or the eyes of a minor or unsympathetic character.
1. The Value of the House--Matthew 7:24-27
2. The Man Who Talked with His Soul--Luke 12:13-21
3. What Chance Does an Average Sinner Have?--Luke 7:36-48
4. The Importance of Downward Mobility--Luke 14:7-11
5. The Danger of Being Good and Empty--Matthew 12:43-45
6. Risky business--Matthew 13:45-46
7. Miracles Can Be Overrated--Luke 16:19-31
8. Second Chance for a Poor Manager--Luke 16:1-13
9. A Laugh and a Prayer--Luke 11:5-13, 18:1-8
10. It Happens While We Sleep--Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
11. The Importance of Being Dressed for the Party--Matthew 22:1-14
12. The Genius of Effective Waiting--Luke 12:32-40