Lent Devotion, Day 3 of 44

Read Matthew 3: https://biblehub.com/nlt/matthew/3.htm

The SOAP method of Bible study: https://lovegodgreatly.com/how-to-soap/

Key Scripture: v. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

John baptizes Jesus as the fulfillment of all righteousness.

Observation: Two voices bracket the beginning and end of this chapter. This is a rhetorical device known as inclusio or bracketing. The voice of the messenger (John) and the voice of God. Both point to the Son as the fulfillment of all righteousness. The wilderness of Judea in this passage parallels with the desert of Sinai in the Old Testament. Likewise, the Jordan river is a place of beginning for all promised lands. The 40-day journey of Lent represents the Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness after his baptism by John, or the 40 years of wandering for the Hebrews in Sinai.

Application: Whatever goals I have for Lent, I realize that both a time of preparation (wilderness) and point of departure (Jordan) are needed to reach the promised land. Is my starting point in God’s will? If it is not, my trajectory could be way off of my intended destination.

Prayer: God prepare me for the goals you have set before me for the coming year. Guide my steps and actions that they may align with your will. Amen.