"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.--------------------------I remember how anxious I was when I first started making hospital calls back in my seminary days. For eight-to-ten hours a week, I would go from room to room as a chaplain intern calling on patients, visiting with them, trying to console them, and often having prayer with them. It may not sound daunting, but it unnerved me. At first, I would see a patient or two, then disappear to the waiting area where no one would pay attention to me, to give myself the opportunity to relax for a minute and to regain enough nerve to make the next call. I was so afraid that I would say something stupid or reveal that I did not know what I was doing.I thought of that fear a while back, while in the county jail to teach a class for some of the people incarcerated there. As my partner and I walked down the long, forbidding corridors and as the sheriff’s deputy unlocked the heavy metal door to let us into the unit we were visiting, I could not help but notice the difference between the fear I once had in making a hospital call and the fearlessness I now had in addressing prisoners. Lots of years had come in between the two events. Successes and failures had occurred in the meantime. With experience I am now much more comfortable in the role of an ordained minister for Jesus Christ. It is also worth mentioning that I did not go into the county jail alone; I went with a colleague who shared the work with me.In our Bible Lesson, Jesus appointed twelve apostles. In what was surely the first ministerial intern program, he sent them out two by two to begin the work of preaching the gospel.