Matthew 3

Ministry of John the Baptist 1
His condemnation of the Jewish religionists 7
The baptism of Christ 13
Ministry of John the baptist. Matt. 3:2-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18.
.1 ¶ In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
.2  And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
.3  For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
.4  And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
 5  Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
 6  And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
   2 - Kingdom of ... at hand To the Jews at the time, this meant the kingdom of glory. Jesus would clarify this in numerous parables about the kingdom of heaven.
   3 - Voice of one crying He identified his mission as the fulfillment of is4003. Jesus identified him as the preparing messenger of mal0301. mt1107ff.
   3 - Voice He was speaking the message of God.
   3 - Crying Here, "calling out." Not weeping.
   4 - Locusts and wild honey Yes, the Greek word akrides refers to the insects. Many people today eat cattle and chickens not at all appealing to this commentator so why not hoppers which are among the clean foods according to Leviticus? Recognizing certain items as food is at least partly arbitrarily learned. See le1122
.7 ¶ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
 8  Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
.9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
.10  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
.11  I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
 12  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
  7 - Generation of Vipers Or "offspring of vipers." (A viper is a venomous snake). Compare Jesus' statements mt1234, mt2333. Jesus may have have been comparing these Jewish leaders to the serpent (snake) who deceived Eve ge0301-6.
  7 - Wrath to come Perhaps the destruction of Jerusalem mt2415-20 and the end of the world re0107.
  9 - Think not ... Abraham Jesus knew who they honored.
  11 - Baptize What was the difference? John called for repentance. Of course the Holy Spirit has always been present ge0102. He came in a new way, however, at Pentecost. We need to be both emptied of sin (repentance) and filled with the power of Christ through the spirit to remain victorious over sin. Thus we are prepared to witness for Christ.
  11 - With fire Trials and persecution draw us into a reliance on Christ through the spirit mt2022.

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The Baptism. Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23a.
.13 ¶ Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
.14  But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
.15  And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
   13 - Jesus ... baptized He was not baptized to wash away sin but as the sin bearer so that He could wash our sins away. See verse 15.
   14 - Forbad him The Greek may read "had a mind to prevent Him" or "would have prevented Him."
   15 - Suffer [let] it be so now This was the time. The baptism marked Jesus' transition from private citizen to One who would liberate us from sin. This decision of our Lord also showed that John's ministry of baptism was true. It was for the people of that time and no divine order has changed it. See on da0924b.
   16 - Went up out of the water The picture is of baptism by immersion. Sprinkling or pouring came much later as the church of the early centuries began to drift from the simple plan in the Scriptures. Compare jn0124, le0810.
.16  And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
.17  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
   16 - Spirit descending The blessing and special anointing by the Holy Spirit.
   17 - My beloved Son What a blessing of confirmation! God's Son had taken the form of humanity and risked being thus unacceptable to His Father because the people of this planet had rebelled. This was the anointing of blessing ac1034.
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