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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 3

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

 

FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 3

v.1-12 John the Baptist Prepares the Way
v.13-17 The Baptism of Jesus

 

v.1-12 John the Baptist Prepares the Way

 

v.1,2 (Some thirty year has passed and a prophet appears. Luke tells more about him) In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

v.3 (he came preaching repentance as Isaiah had said he would) This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,    make straight paths for him.'” [Isa 40:3]

v.4  (he wore rough clothing and survived in the desert) John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.

v.5 (people heard of him and flocked to see him) People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.

v.6  (they responded to his preaching with repentance and were baptized as a sign of their sins being washed away) Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

v.7  (he challenged the religious people who came) But 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?

v.8 (show your repentance is true by changing) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

v.9 (don't trust in being Abraham's family) And 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.

v.10 (God is getting ready to cut down all hypocrisy) The 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.

v.11 (a baptizer in the Spirit is coming soon to replace this baptizer in water) “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

v.12 (he's getting ready to come right now) His 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.”

 

v.13-17 The Baptism of Jesus

 

v.13 (then Jesus came asking John to baptize him) Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

v.14 (John said, no this is the wrong way round) But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

v.15 (Jesus said no, let it appear that I do right) Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.

v.16 (as Jesus came out of the water, the Spirit came down on him) As 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 alighting on him.

v.17 (and the Father spoke words of affirmation) And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

   

   

[Notes: we need to understand that down through the centuries in the Hebrew prophetic writings (the Old Testament) there were, every now and then, references to one who would come and deliver Israel – a Messiah, or anointed one sent from God for them. Different schools of thought varied between him being a suffering servant or a conquering king, because both things seemed to be said of him. There was also the indication that one would come before him to prepare people to receive him. This is what John was doing, calling the people to clean up their lives in preparation to meet the Coming One.]