Passage: Matthew 3:1~12  

Keyverse: 3

First, John's ministry of repentance (1-6)

After Jesus had grown up, John the Baptist began his public ministry as a prophet and Jesus' forerunner, a role that was prophesied by Isaiah. John did not prepare the way for Jesus with a marketing campaign. Instead, he separated himself from the world and commanded people to repent in preparation for the coming kingdom of heaven. People from all around came to confess their sins and be baptized by John. Repentance of our sins is the right preparation for the kingdom of God to come into our hearts through Jesus.

Second, John warns the religious leaders (7-12)

John's ministry began to be investigated by the religious leaders. But John knew their hypocritical lives and denounced them severely. Their pride in being descended from Abraham would not protect them from God's judgment. John testified that one much greater than him was coming and that he would be true judge of people's hearts.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me that you judge us by our hearts, not by visible things. Help me not follow the pattern of this world.

One Word: Inner fruit of repentance