"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. ”
Easter from the Back SideJ. Ellsworth KalasUsing an approach similar to the one he took in Parables from the Back Side and other books in the popular Back Side series, author J. Ellsworth Kalas opens up new possibilities of insight into the biblical Easter story. The author looks beyond the traditional gospel scriptures to connect the story of Christ’s resurrection with other stories and scriptures throughout the Bible, including both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Kalas’s creative approach both clarifies basic teachings and introduces new possibilities of meaning, even for those who are most familiar with the Easter story. Enriched with contemporary illustrations and personal experiences, this volume will provide new perspectives on Easter.
Chapter titles and Scriptures include: “Why We Need Easter” (Genesis 3:1-7, 22-24); “Easter from an Ash Heap” (Job 19:13-27); “Easter for the Disillusioned” (Ecclesiastes 2:14-26); “Ezekiel Celebrates Easter” (Ezekiel 37:1-10); “Easter Is a Love Story” (John 20:1-18); “Late for Easter” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11); and “Forever Easter” (Revelation 21:1-4).
J. ELLSWORTH KALAS is president of Asbury Theological Seminary and has been part of the faculty there since 1993, after thirty-eight years as a United Methodist pastor and five years in evangelism with the World Methodist Council. He has been a presenter on Disciple videos, is the author of the Christian Believer study, and has written more than thirty books, including the popular Back Side series; Longing to Pray: How the Psalms Teach Us to Talk with God; Strong Was Her Faith: Women of the New Testament; and What I Learned When I Was Ten.