Chase Day 15 The Rest Of The Story: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, The Rest Of The Story!

Matthew 3:1-12 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!” 3 For he is the one spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, who said:

A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make his paths straight!

4 Now John had a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the vicinity of the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. 9 And don’t presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing shovel is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn. But the chaff he will burn with fire that never goes out.”

The Questions

1) Why is John’s location and appearance so important?

2) What does this passage say about who Jesus is?

3) How does this passage show that Jesus pushed the status quo?

The Findings for Intention

1) Why is John’s location and appearance so important?
John the Baptist was a radical prophet. He was the first prophet to speak of Jesus’ coming in 400 years since Malachi and he did so in a manner that grabbed the attention of his listeners. John lived in the wilderness; a perfect place to gather a crowd to speak of things the government didn’t agree with. His diet and hygiene show us that John was all in. He was ready to live his life in a way that spoke most loudly, yet in a relatable fashion, to his listeners. His dedication to a simple life showed those listening to his sermons that he was committed to putting his personal luxuries aside for the sake of the Gospel.

2) What does this passage say about who Jesus is?
We see here that Jesus is more concerned about a relationship than our religion. In verse 9, John says it doesn’t matter that you or your family members were a Jew, Jesus expects each person to have their own relationship with Him. After we’ve put our faith in Jesus, He will change our lives, turning our old lives up on end and setting us on the path towards righteousness. The responsibility of faith in Jesus is bearing fruit. If Christ is your redeemer, He will produce fruit in your life, how much is up to you in how deeply you lean into His Spirit leading you deeper into relationship with Him. John warns that those not bearing fruit will be “cut down and thrown into the fire.” Jesus longs for more than mediocrity for us, rather He steadily invites us into whole life transformation!

3) How does this passage show that Jesus pushed the status quo?
John calls out the religious leaders of the day (Pharisees and Sadducees) and gives them a raking through the coals! He tells them their hollow words of self-righteousness and check-mark obedient actions, while they may appear “holy” are quite the opposite. Jesus cares about the heart of faith, because only faith can save. All of our good works or supposed righteousness are as filthy rags in the sight of the perfect and holy God Almighty. (Isaiah 64:6) John says Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire, offering complete life change, not some lovey-dovey feeling that we can walk away with and pat ourselves on the back as the Pharisees and Sadducees were doing.

The Everyday Application

1) Why is John’s location and appearance so important?
Following God is not an easy, carefree choice we make once and then carry on living our lives however we want. It’s a daily choice to walk in the grace He gives us with our hands wide open to do whatever He calls us into. That could be moving to the other side of the world to share His truth, or it could be moving to the other side of the office to engage a new person. Both options are scary, but I would love to see you and I accept the difficult situations we might encounter walking closely to the Lord!

2) What does this passage say about who Jesus is?
Because Jesus isn’t interested in religion, we can rest in the assurance that we are saved through our faith in Him. The long laundry list of do’s and don’ts can be thrown out the window! What Jesus wants to see is our repentance and obedience moving out of our sin. While that looks different for all of us, that bearing of fruit in our lives is important. Jesus loves seeing His children pouring out, from the overflow of His love, into the lives of others!

3) How does this passage show that Jesus pushed the status quo?
As Christians, we are held to a high standard: holiness that mirrors the Lord. Impossible? Without His Spirit, Absolutely Impossible! With His Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling within us to move and lead and teach us? Most definitely NOT impossible! Christ wants all of you, will you submit to His leadings and see where He takes you? Where are you holding back, building your own righteous appearances? Decide to intentionally choose, a little bit more than you have been, to the teaching voice of the Holy Spirit and watch how He produces good fruit in you! Let the Spirit push the status quo in your own life!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, The Rest Of The Story!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Chase Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Chase!