Good morning dear listener and welcome to this morning Bible study. I hope you all got some nice sleep. I got some good sleep, but not for that long, which always makes for a sad moment waking up.
Today, Matthew 3, but before I get into that I’d like to go back to Matthew 1, because I forgot something rather important. Easy to miss it when reading. Matthew 1 verse 21 says the following: “21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Another big concept right at the start of the Gospel. Why did Jesus come to earth? To save His people from their sins. What does that mean for us today? For me it means that I don’t have to worry too much. Sometimes I can get caught up too much with my own sin, when I think like: ‘Ooh man, why did I do this? Why did I do it again?’ Sometimes you can try very hard to get back on track with God, but if you want to get back on track with God without looking to Jesus it’s all in vain. Regardless of what you do, Jesus died on the cross for you, for your sins. We can only be thankful that He did that for us sinners. There is nothing we can change about what He did, whether we sin or not.
I think that fact can give us some rest, because we only have to look at Jesus and say: “Lord, please turn my heart towards you. Forgive me of my sin, so that I do Your will, not mine.”
I don’t say that we can sin all we want, no. He died for us because He loved us first, which is something to admire. That’s what I wanted to tell you concerning Matthew 1.
Let’s get to Matthew 3 now.
Read Matthew 3: 1-12
So that’s the first part of a description of what John the Baptist did in the desert. I think there’s one important concept here: John was the herald of Jesus for a reason. He was that to tell the people: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare[a] the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’”. What is the meaning of that prophecy in Isaiah in this context?
I think (but it probably means more than only that) that it means that it is important to repent from our sins. That is when we prepare the way to our hearts for God. Sometimes we can build big giant walls around our heart with all the sins that stand between us and the Lord.
It is one more reason why Jesus came to earth: to tear down those walls build around our heart, that stand between us and the Lord. He is the one who created a bridge between us and the Lord, to connect the gap between our Creator and us. That’s why John the Baptist urged us to make free the way of the Lord.
You cannot do anything about your redemption, but you can rebel against it. Does that sound like a contradiction? It is a hard concept to wrap your head around, but I think that even though you can’t do anything about your redemption, you shouldn’t sit down in a corner and do nothing all day long. You can’t say: “I’m saved, so let’s chillax and read the newspaper for the rest of my life.” You still get saved, but you didn’t fulfil your task you have here on earth to the best of your abilities. It’s like the parable of the talents, where the guy getting only one buries it into the ground and waits until the master comes back. When the master came back he said:
‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
I do realize that this parable is about talents, but I think you can make it about our duty and responsibilities here on earth. We have to use our talents, but we are also a child of God and therefore have to something with that. Jesus also tells us in the sermon on the mount, which we will read sooner or later, that we have to be the light and salt of the world.
So with that in the back of our heads I can say it is important to make free the way of the Lord and pray: ‘God, if there is anything that stands between You and me, please take it away’.
Let that me my closing prayer this morning.
Dear Lord, Father in heaven. Thank you for this new day. Thank you for Your word and that we were able today to read some more out of it. Through that word you show us the importance for us to make free the way for You, whereby you can come to us, Jesus. That’s what it’s all about, that you are number one in our lives and that everything that stands between us and you, may be taken away. Please help us, Lord to come to you every morning. To trust that you can tear down the walls around our heart. You put us here on this earth, to be Your servants and to show that to the world. Help us with that, to glorify Your name and please go with us today. Amen.