Matthew: The Story of the King ~ Part 2 Preparing the way… Matthew 3: 1-17 January 6, 2019
I. The MAN and the MESSAGE. (v.1-3)
A. SENT with a PURPOSE. (v.3-5; Is. 40:3)
B. RESPONDING to the God who COMES. (v.2)
John the Baptist was unique to say the least. He wore clothes made out of camel’s hair (comfort and with built in cologne), and ate locusts and honey. He looked like one of those crazy prophets out of the Old Testament. It had been a while since there had been anyone like that…and John has an important message for everyone.
1. John had a mission. How would you define your mission in life?
2. Kid’s Question: When have you had to get ready for someone to come visit? What was that like?
II. What it MEANS to REPENT. (v.6-11)
A. μετάνοια – To CHANGE your THINKING. (v.2; Joel 2:12-13)
B. Requires HONESTY and HUMILITY. (v.6; Rom. 12:3)
C. Genuine FRUIT not religious ACTIVITY. (v.7-8,10; Jn 15:4)
D. Living in the PRESENT, not out of the PAST. (v.9-10)
The heart of his message was a call to repent. Repent has become a word we say in religious circles and often we think very little of what it actually means. It gets lumped together with the idea of changing behaviour. The vagueness of our understanding frees us from actually having to do anything that John calls us to.
3. When have you had a “change” in your thinking about something? What caused that to happen?
4. How can we tell if our actions are “fruit” or just “religious activity”?
III. The ONE who is COMING. (v.11-17)
A. BRINGS real PURIFICATION. (v.11,12; 2 Cor. 5:21)
B. MODELS the WAY. (v.13-15; Jn 13:15)
C. LIVING out of RELATIONSHIP. (v.16-17; Jn 5:17)
Matthew helps us to see the truth more clearly by following the words of John up with the example of Jesus. This One who is coming helps give us some insight into what John was trying to accomplish as he preached and baptized along the Jordan.
5. What aspects of the example of the life of Jesus are the most challenging for you to follow and why?
6. How would you describe your relationship with Jesus? Do you find it easy or difficult to live “out of” that relationship?
IV. A new year CALLS for REFLECTION. (Ps. 139:23-24)
A. Open to RENEWED THINKING. (v.2; Rom. 12:2)
B. Living in RELATIONSHIP or from REGULATION? (v.8; Lk. 18:11-13)
C. SURRENDERING to the GRACE of God. (v.6; Titus 2:11-12)
The first Sunday of January always sets us up for some reflection on our own lives. It’s a time when we slow down for a moment to look back and to look forward, identifying some of the ways we would like to live differently in the coming year. The question is can we move from reflecting to actually implementing changes?
7. On a scale of 1-10 how easy do you find it to change your thinking about things? Give an example that supports your #.
8. Where is God calling you to surrender to grace yourself or to extend grace to someone else? How will you do that?