SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
Matthew 2:12-3:122:12 After being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back by another route to their own country.
13 After they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to look for the child to kill him.” 14 Then he got up, took the child and his mother during the night, and went to Egypt. 15 He stayed there until Herod died. In this way what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet was fulfilled: “I called my Son out of Egypt.”
16 When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he became enraged. He sent men to kill all the children in Bethlehem and throughout the surrounding region from the age of two and under, according to the time he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled:
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud wailing,
Rachel weeping for her children,
and she did not want to be comforted, because they were gone.”
19 After Herod had died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 saying, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who were seeking the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up and took the child and his mother and returned to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. After being warned in a dream, he went to the regions of Galilee. 23 He came to a town called Nazareth and lived there. Then what had been spoken by the prophets was fulfilled, that Jesus would be called a Nazarene.
3:1 In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 For he is the one about whom the prophet Isaiah had spoken:
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, 6 and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.
7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, 9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 10 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am—I am not worthy to carry his sandals! He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire!”