"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.
Two phrases characterize traditional storytelling, probably for as long as stories have been told: “Once upon a time” and “They lived happily ever after.” These are the phrases we love and that we long to hear—not simply because they are part of our childhood memories, but because something in us believes that this is the way life ought to be. We sense that there is a grand mystery in the beginning, and our hearts tell us everything should be right and fair at the end.
The Bible, which is the grandest, truest story ever told, begins with mystery quite beyond our comprehending: “In the beginning, God” (Genesis 1:1, KJV). Now, as we come to the end of Revelation, we want a “happily ever after.” The journey through the Scriptures portrays our human story honestly, giving us war and peace, beauty and ugliness, saints and villains. So how will it all turn out? Physical scientists speculate a variety of answers, as do social scientists, and beyond that, novelists and poets. Today’s lesson encourages our confidence that through Christ, God’s ultimate purpose is achieved. That is truly a happily eternally after.