"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. ”
Infusion Bible eStudies are downloadable small group studies that can be read online, printed, or emailed. Each study includes a leader guide and a study guide and is suitable for a one-hour group Bible study.
Listen...to the words of the Scripture, and in them discover God's message for you today.
Look...at a brief verbal snapshot from the scrapbook of contemporary life and discover its connection both to you and to the Scripture passage.
Live...inside the Scripture to discover its context and message; then allow the Scripture to come alive in you and cause you to live out your faith in new and more-effective ways.
Read an excerpt from this study below.
Some hymns sound very good when we sing them. Yet if we were to think about the meaning of their words, we might prefer to skip them entirely or at least sing them with our fingers crossed.
For some twelve centuries Christians have sung “All glory, laud, and honor/to thee, Redeemer, King”; and we will conclude with the words, “Thou good and gracious King.” 1 And yet, most of us do not really believe in kings. We think of them as characters in the pages of our history book, or, in our day, as largely ceremonial figures in other lands. We do not see them as authorities with the power of life and death.
Most of us really cannot imagine such a political structure. We are proudly free, able to elect our leaders or to remove them from office. This is so much a part of who we are and what we think that I suspect some of us rather unconsciously think that God’s term in office is still up for a popular vote.
So as we sing our songs today, we need to think about what the words mean to us. Are we really ready to yield to the lordship of Jesus Christ? Or are we perhaps standing with the uneasy, disapproving crowd that watched the events of Palm Sunday from a distance?