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Daily Bible Reading Notes: Fruit Matthew 3:1-12

by Mike Sanders

MikeSanders  1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.

     4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.

     7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The crowds felt the tension of John’s kingdom preaching. The coming accountability prompted action: (3:5-6). Their repentance was genuine and evident by their immersion and confession (full agreement) of sin.

Religious leaders, many of them, felt the tension, too (3:7). Their response, however, was surface only. In Matthew 5: 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 23: 27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.

 

John challenged them to present fruit to validate/harmonize with their repentance (3:8). Real repentance is the real remedy to the real “wrath to come.”

Some Lessons:

Michael T. Sanders is the former minister of the Buechel Church of Christ in    

                                                Louisville, Kentucky and now retired UPS DC-8 Captain.




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