Explore the Bible: The Way Prepared

3:57 PM

Why are we starting with Matthew 3 before focusing on chapters 1 and 2? Dwayne McCrary, Team Leader at LifeWay Christian Resources explains this approach in his post on the Explore the Bible blog. He explains that it was LifeWay's desire to "place the Christmas stories (chapters 1 and 2) as close to Christmas as possible in a way that made some sense." Placing John’s announcement as the first lesson and titling it "The Way Prepared" helps you connect John's arrival on the scene as a means of preparing the world for the mission and message Jesus came to deliver.

I believe they have done a very good job of helping us capture the picture of all that was taking place in these passages. By starting with chapter 3 we are able to connect the Christmas story with the larger context of God's grand plan which was in play all the way back in Genesis and even before time, as we know it, began.

I have provided additional references from Luke 5:1-17 to help you introduce your group to the full story of John the Baptist and added information that helps paint the picture of the times in which he and Jesus were born.

I have also provided quite a few discussion options that zero in on the message of repentance and what John describes as Jesus' purpose for coming - to provide salvation to those who repent, to gather those who believe in Him, and to sift out those who refuse to follow Him.

I pray you will have a great time discussing how John's message of repentance is expressed today.


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