Prepare!” – Matthew 3:1-12 – Pastor Bruce Lerum

Roads need maintenance and sometimes re-routing.

For Jesus to come into our hearts, we are in need of spiritual road maintenance.

Matthew 3:3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness,‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”

Preparation begins with our willingness to repent.

Reversal of our thinking is vital to our repentance.

Matthew 3:7-8 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

John the Baptist’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.

We are baptized with the Holy Spirit, putting us on a new road.

Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Study Questions:

1. John the Baptist, a cousin of Jesus, was six months older. What may have been the attraction for so many people, including Jewish leaders, to go hear John preach in the desert?

2. He (John the Baptist) came to prepare the way for Jesus public ministry. What was different about John’s preaching from the rabbi’s of the day? (Think about the fact that John new of the imminent “coming out” of the Messiah – Matthew 3:11-12).

3. John stressed repentance and to repent means to reverse the course of our life; a 180 degree change of course. What is necessary in our lives for this to happen?

4. What change is needed in our hearts for this to happen?

5. This will, no doubt, change the way we live day in and day out. Are we, are you prepared for this? How will you be better prepared?

6. Will the road on which you live your life have to change? A little maintenance? A major re-routing?