Archive for the ‘Daily Bible Study & Questions’ Category

Matthew 4:12-17 Jesus Takes the Stage

Galilee mapHow long after Jesus’s baptism did John get arrested? Was it just as Jesus was finishing His fast? How long was John held in prison before he was killed? I have been doing some research this morning trying to answer this question and have not found a definitive answer. John was in prison during Jesus’ ministry and Luke tells John even sent some of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the one they were waiting for. How quickly problems crowd in and wipe out certainty. God Himself had just testified to Jesus’ deity in the river Jordan.

John was also killed by Herod while Jesus was still teaching. John’s disciples brought back Jesus’ reply to John’s question. Did that settle his heart and mind before his death? Did John expect Jesus to come and rescue him from prison? John knew he was on a mission from God, so how could being in prison be part of that? John didn’t ask his disciples to ask Jesus to free him though. John probably consoled himself with knowing how all the previous prophets had been treated. He was in good company on that point. I trust that God walked with him and gave him reassurance even to the second of his death. Read more »

Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus in the Wilderness

Eternity hangs in the balance

Eternity hangs in the balance

“Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (verse 1). It sounds ominous. Knowing you are going into battle with your chief enemy. This too was part of God’s plan and Jesus’ process as our Savior. He went through it so He could identify with us in every way.

The stage is set. Jesus fasts for 40 days. What did He do during those 40 days? I’m sure He prayed A LOT but did that take up all His time? Lengthy prayer time and I are seldom in the same realm with each other. I’m certain God would like that to change. I know I need to visit this area in my relationship with Him.

I got sidetracked looking at the risks v benefits of long term fasting. I have thought about doing a long term fast before but when I do even short term ones I get TOO cranky and weak. I don’t think I, or those who have to live with me, would survive me trying to do a 40 day fast. Did Jesus do a strict fast? I’m sure He had to take in water to survive, but did He do any kind of supplements? I’m sure He was weakened during His ordeal. Was He cranky, like me, too? Read more »

Matthew 3:11-17 John baptizes Jesus


This is My beloved Son

John is clarifying his position and purpose. He is still talking to the Pharisees and Sadducees right now but his message is for everyone listening to him. He is saying he IS NOT the Christ, Savior, Messiah. He places Jesus SO much higher than himself. He is unworthy to even carry His sandals.

John’s role in God’s plan was to call the people to repentance and baptize those who heeded that call. Baptism was a symbol of the changed heart, as it is still supposed to be today. John was very comfortable with his role, but was waiting eagerly for Jesus to take everyone to the next step.

John knew who the Christ would be, as well as what His mission would be. John had seen from God that Jesus would baptize those who followed His message “with the Holy Spirit and Fire.” He knew Jesus’ would be the ultimate judge of all. He would expose any pretense and destroy anything or anyone that did not meet His standard. Read more »

Matthew 3:7-10 Pharisees and Sadducees Are Put in Their Place

Pharisees pointing

The Skeptics arive

John is still on his mission. The Pharisees and Sadducees came to check out what was going on. Were they there looking for a “crazy” man? Were they looking to discredit his teaching? Were they going to try and challenge his authority? John certainly didn’t believe they were there to receive his teaching and baptism.

He called them snakes! Another word for snake is serpent. Satin disguised himself as a serpent in the Garden of Eden. These serpents were disguising themselves as religious leaders. Both deceptive and deadly!

John confronted them directly and told them if they had any REAL intentions of changing to prove it to him first. So many people say “I’m sorry” with no intention of changing their behavior that was offensive in the first place. As they say, “The proof is in the putting.” Or, “Put your money where your mouth is.” Read more »

Matthew 3:1-6 A Voice Crying in the Wilderness


An outward sign of an inward change

Where did John get his education? Was everything he said imparted by the Holy Spirit? Did he spend time with Jesus while they were growing up? Did Jesus teach him as a child? We know that his mother was filled by the Holy Spirit before his birth when she bore witness for Mary of Jesus’ deity.  Was he filled at this time too? If he was, did that filling stay with him his whole life?

John was bold and totally sure of his calling. He never wavered in what he was to do. He didn’t back down or get intimidated by anyone. He was not shy about saying just what he thought. How did he get so bold? Did his parents, from the time he could understand, tell him of his mission in life? Did they really understand his mission themselves? How did his parents raise such a self-assured young man? Not self-assured but God inspired! Was he this way from the time he could talk or did he move into this assurance as he grew older? Read more »