Matthew 3: Ministry of John the Baptizer

How did John receive God’s word?

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Matthew 3:1 The word of God came to John the Baptizer in the Judean wilderness.
King James
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

Why didn’t John assume the priestly duties of his father?

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Matthew 3:1 The word of God came to John the Baptizer in the Judean wilderness.
King James
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

What was the focal point of John’s messages?

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Matthew 3:2–3 “Repent,” he said, “for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Long ago, the prophet Isaiah referred to John when he wrote: Listen! Someone is shouting, “Clear a path in the wilderness, for the Lord our God is coming. Fill the valleys and flatten the mountains. Straighten the curves and smooth the rough places.
King James
Matthew 3:2–3 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 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.

What made John’s dress and diet significant?

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Matthew 3:4 He wore camel’s hair clothing with a leather belt around his waist and lived on a diet of locusts and wild honey.
King James
Matthew 3:4 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.

Why did John’s message draw such large crowds? Of what class was the majority of his audience?

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Matthew 3:5–6 People came from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and the Jordan valley to see and hear John. They confessed their sins and were baptized in the Jordan River.
King James
Matthew 3:5–6 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

Why was the arrival of Pharisees and Sadducees surprising?

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Matthew 3:7 When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming, he said, “You bunch of snakes. Who warned you to flee God’s judgment?
King James
Matthew 3:7 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?

What reasons might people have had to see John?

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Matthew 3:7 When John saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming, he said, “You bunch of snakes. Who warned you to flee God’s judgment?
King James
Matthew 3:7 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?

How did John view the heritage of the Jews?

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Matthew 3:8–10 “The way you live proves whether you have left your sins and turned to God. Do not say to one another, ‘We are all right because we are Abraham’s descendants.’ That does not mean anything. God can make these stones into children of Abraham. His axe is raised, ready to sever the roots of every tree that does not produce good fruit. You will be chopped down and thrown into the fire!”
King James
Matthew 3:8–10 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 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. 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.

Why might the promise of the Messiah been of little concern to the Jews?

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Matthew 3:11–12 “One is coming after me,” he cried, “who is so great I am not worthy to carry his sandals. I baptize with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. He holds his threshing fork and will thoroughly clean his floor. He will gather the wheat into his barn but burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
King James
Matthew 3:11–12 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: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

What reasons did John have for not wanting to baptize Jesus?

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Matthew 3:13–14 From Galilee, Jesus came to be baptized of John. John objected, saying, “I should be baptized by you. Why are you coming to me?”
King James
Matthew 3:13–14 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

If Jesus was without sin, what reason did he have to be baptized?

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Matthew 3:15 “This is what should be done,” Jesus said. “We must do all that God requires of us.” So John consented and baptized him.
Hebrews 4:15 Our High Priest is easily touched with the feeling of our infirmities, because he was tested in every area just as we are, yet without sin.
King James
Matthew 3:15 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.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

What was the significance of the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove?

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Matthew 3:16–17 As Jesus came up out of the water, the sky opened, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, lighting upon him. A voice spoke from above: “You are my son, whom I love. I am well pleased with you.”
John 1:33 “I would not have known him, but the one who sent me to baptize said, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'”
1 John 5:6 Jesus Christ came to us through the water of baptism and the blood of his death on the cross. The Holy Spirit was present to confirm the truth of his identity.
King James
Matthew 3:16–17 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: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.