Readings: Matthew 3:1-12 Quotes: “Because the only people baptized prior to this time were those converting from paganism to Judaism. These converts, Gentiles, were considered unclean, so they were required
Readings: Isaiah 2:1-5 Quotes: “This is one of the great ‘turning points’ in the history of Israel, one that is crucial to our understanding the Bible. From this point on,
Israel was required to set their first fruits down before the priest once they entered the land of promise. In the New Testament Christians are sometimes referred to as first fruits. We are called not just to lay a portion of our earnings or “fruits” down, but our entire lives. Not only is it what Jesus did for God (and us!), but there is greater joy to be had in the end.
Here in this very other-worldly passage where Jesus is transfigured and seen in his glory, Jesus is still talking about his death. Why? Because that was the heart and soul of his mission: to seek and to save the lost by dying on the cross. If we want to follow Jesus there is no escaping the reality of his death. But it’s in dying with him that we find ultimate life.
Fear is a universal experience; we all know what it is to be afraid. But not all fear is good. Here in the opening part of Jeremiah we see the prophet being gripped by sinful fear, one that God combats with his very precious promise: “I will be with you.”