Matthew 3

john-the-baptist.jpgGreetings!  See Luke 1 for more information on the birth of John the Baptist.  He was one passionate guy. 

Matthew 3

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

 1In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
   “A voice of one calling in the desert,
   ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
      make straight paths for him.’ ”

 4John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

 7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

Jesus expands on the fruit-bearing metaphor in John 15 and elsewhere.  If we are Christians then that should show through in our lives.  The good works don’t save us, but they are an evidence that we are saved.

 11“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Jesus pointed out that John the Baptist was the greatest human, but even John didn’t feel qualified to be compared to Jesus.

The Baptism of Jesus

 13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

 15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

 16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

This is one of the passages where all the members of the Trinity are mentioned – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  One God in three persons.  It is a mystery.

Jesus was sinless so He had nothing to repent of, but He submitted to baptism anyway.

What passages stood out to you, and why? 

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One Response

  1. v.9 – Salvation does not come as a birthright (even for Jews) but through faith in Christ.

    v.15 – This occasion marked the beginning of Christ’s Messianic ministry. There were several reasons for His baptism: 1. The first, mentioned here, was “to fulfill all righteousness.” The baptism indicated that He was consecrated to God and officially approved by Him, as especially shown in the descent of the Holy Spirit and words of the Father. All God’s righteous requirements for the Messiah were fully met in Jesus. 2. At Jesus’ baptism John publicly announced the arrival of the Messiah and the inception of His ministry. 3. By His baptism Jesus completely identified Himself with man’s sin and failure (though He Himself needed no repentance or cleansing from sin), becoming our substitue. 4. His baptism was an example to His followers.

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