Chapter 23- Summing up the Story

The Story is a condensed chronological Bible, and in our church-wide journey through it we’re going to discover how our story fits into God’s story. 

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Chapter 23- Jesus’ Ministry Begins

This Week- Read Chapter 23 in The Story or Matthew 3-4; 11; Mark 1-3; Luke 8; John 1-4

Big Idea: Jesus came launching his Kingdom and invites us to be a part of it

Things that hold us back from the kingdom

1) Repentance– Jesus and John both , “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Repent means ‘turn’. It involves changing our minds and turning our lives towards God.

2) Baptism- John 3:3-7 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 

‘born of water and the Spirit’ This is a reference to Baptism.

Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Are we afraid to take this step towards Christ and receive his gift? What is holding you back?

3) Doubt- 

Matthew 11:2-5 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.

Even John the Baptist who knew still had to make CERTAIN that his life was built on reality.

Fasting Challenge: Let’s Fast (go without food) together as a church on Wednesday of this week to seek God and how he wan’t us to engage with His kingdom. Sound crazy? It is.  We are going to focus on that thing or things that may be keeping us from engaging with the kingdom of God (see above).  You will get hungry, but we are declaring that God is more important to us than the basic necessities of life. God will not love us any more, but we will love Him more. Do you need to repent? Be baptized? Do you have doubts?

If you are interested in fasting check this: Fasting

And if you are joining us please let us know so we can pray for you: email

Parents Pages (use these for family devotions, discussions and activities)

Finding our story in God’s story,


About aaroncross

these are some of my adventures in following Jesus, loving my wife, raising my boys, and serving a church
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