Responding to Jesus
January 28, 2024

Responding to Jesus: Into the Water

The Rev'd Adam Lowe
Matthew 3:1-17

Questions and going deeper resources

Small group questions

Connect What is one way this year that you can be involved in nurturing a disciple-making disciple? What is one way that you can contribute towards the establishment of other communities of disciple-making disciples?


  1. What are the variety of responses that you have witnessed when ‘celebrities’ come to faith or express an interest in Jesus? When you hear of these declarations of faith, how do you initially respond?
  2. Should we be surprised by the Good News of Jesus eliciting a wide-range of responses? Throughout the Gospels—and over the past 2000 years—what ‘types’ of people have responded to Jesus?

Read Matthew 3:1-12

  1. When does Matthew ‘locate’ John the Baptist in the context of time? What does “in those days” mean?
  2. How does Matthew ‘sum up’ the core activity of John? What was at the heart of John’s message?
  3. What—according to John—has come near? What is actually meant by this?
  4. What was distinctive about John’s dress and location? Who is this reminiscent of? Why does Matthew want us to connect the dots between Elijah and John?
  5. How is the coming of God’s Kingdom also connected with judgement? Why is this necessary?
  6. How will Jesus ultimately deal with the judgement that we deserve?
  7. What—does John say—should we make straight? What does he mean by this? Who is it for?
  8. How does John urge people to prepare the way for the Lord? What does ‘repent’ mean?
  9. How has your trusting in Jesus involved a ‘preparing’ of your heart (or life) to receive him? Why is repentance life-giving rather than life-condemning? 
  10. The baptism John offered was a baptism of repentance. How is this different from Christian baptism? In what ways is it similar?
  11. Who else was present by the river? Why do you think he was so critical of the Pharisees and Sadducees?

Read Matthew 3:13-17

  1. If Jesus was without sin, why was he baptised? Why did he say that it was ‘proper’ and should be done ‘to fulfil all righteousness”? 
  2. How does Jesus’ baptism demonstrate his ‘stepping-in’ for all humanity? How does it point to his ultimate work on the cross for us?
  3. What happens when Jesus is baptised? What is significant about what is seen and heard?
  4. With a confidence of salvation, how do you continually prepare to receive Jesus with your whole life?

Apply What helps you to delight in the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah who died (and rose) for us?

Gracious God, thank you for the Good News of Jesus that we can delight in. Please help us to respond to the call of Jesus. Please help us to open our hearts to him through the highway of repentance and faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Going deeper resources
On Your Front Line this Week

Which followers of Jesus do you regularly share life with? How might you support and encourage them to grow as disciple-making disciples?

For Families
  • Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org
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