Front Page

ReadBibleAlive.com

Daily Bible Studies

N.T. Contents
Series Theme:   Matthew's Gospel Studies

Page Contents:

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 3

3:1-3

3:4-6

3:7-10

3:11,12

3:13-17

Recap

 

 

 

 

   

Chapter: Matthew 3

       

Passage: Matthew 3:1-3     

  

A. Find Out:

    

1. Who came where doing what? v.1

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea

2. What did he tell the people to do and why? v.2

saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."

3. How did Matthew view this? v.3a

This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

4. What had the prophet commanded? v.3b

"A voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord,

5. How should they do that? v.3c

make straight paths for him

B. Think:    

            

1. What was strange about the place where John was

     preaching?

2. How was he preaching “bad news” and “good news”?

3. How does Matthew see John in a practical sense?

          

C. Comment:               

     The story now leaps on, a number of undisclosed years. From the birth of the child we now leap to the coming of the grown man onto the public stage. Before he comes however, one comes before him, preparing the way for him. His name is John, he is obviously baptising people and he is preaching - in the desert!

 

     If we did it, we might have started in the town where many people were but John did it in the desert. What a proof of a God-given ministry, when you start out in an impossible situation and people flock to you!

    

     He tells people to “repent” which basically means to do a hundred and eighty degree turn in life, to turn from self to God.   Jesus preached the same message ( 4:17 ).  For the Christian, repentance is not an old fashioned word but a real part of an initial and ongoing experience.

 

     The reason is also given: the kingdom or rule of God from heaven is coming, so get ready for it.  Repentance sounds bad news, yet as preparation to receive the kingdom of heaven, it must be the doorway to blessing.  

 

     All of the goodness of God is expressed in heaven and so when heaven is expressed on earth it is the goodness of God that comes to mankind. Thus Jesus brought God's goodness to the world, as he touched and healed thousands of lives, and continues to do the same today. He still comes to bring “heaven on earth”.

            

D. Application:

          

1. We can “make a path for God to come” by repentance.

2. God comes to bring all the goodness of heaven to us.  

   

  

     

Chapter: Matthew 3
  
Passage: Matthew 3:4-6
 
A. Find Out:
      
1. What was John wearing? v.4a

John's clothes were made of camel's hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist

2. What was he eating? v.4b

His food was locusts and wild honey

3. From where did people come? v.5

People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan

4. What did they do? v.6a

Confessing their sins

5. What did John do for them? v.6b

they were baptized by him in the Jordan River .

          
B. Think:    
       
1. What does John's appearance tell us about his lifestyle?
2. Why do you think large numbers of people went to him?
3. What seems to have been his ministry? 
         
C. Comment:  
       
       John's calling was to prepare the way for Jesus. The Lord must have told him where to go and what to do, for he is clearly a prophet (he foretells a coming kingdom!). His approach to life is very basic: hard tough clothing for being in a desert, and basic food found in the desert. Here is a man relying on the Lord entirely and living by the barest of resources. He could have demanded money for his “services” but he preferred to reject all man-given provision. In no way does John make himself attractive, for he doesn't want the people following him; they are to follow the one who comes after him.
  
     Once he starts preaching to the passing few, the word is spread and the crowds come. When people come into the desert to confess their sins you know two things: a) this is a work of God and b) these people have a spiritual hunger.
  
     John's role is to bring these people to a place where they can confess their sins and symbolically be washed clean from those sins. What is happening here?  It is a people being prepared to meet their Messiah.  Their hearts are being stirred to recognise their sinful state and their need of help. They have come to the place where they do what they can but they now need another to come and do what only He can do in their lives.

  

D. Application:

             
1. What an example of a ministry relying entirely on the Lord!
2. What an example of a ministry blessed by the Lord!

 

    

Chapter: Matthew 3

   

Passage: Matthew 3:7-10

   

A. Find Out:

  

1. Who came to John? v.7a

he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing

2. How did he refer to them and what did he ask them? v.7b

he said to them: "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

3. What did he instruct them to do? v.8

Produce fruit in keeping with repentance

4. On what should they not rely? v.9a

And do not think you can say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our father.'

5. Why? v.9b

I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham

6. What did John say was happening? v.10

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.

           

B. Think:

      

1. What did John first indicate about these religious leaders

2. What were they using to excuse their wrong attitudes?

3. What is God looking for?    

   

C. Comment:  

   

     Some very powerful verses! The Pharisees were a religious group who prided themselves on being keepers of the Law. The Sadducees were more of a political group who were the modernists of the day but both groups would have considered themselves leaders in different ways. John calls them a bunch of snakes, and we know who the original snake in the garden was!

  

     John's call to them was to show that they were really repenting. People only came to John to be baptised if they genuinely repented and turned to God, so he challenges these leaders, “Really show by you life, words and actions, that you have really turned away from your past!”. As a true prophet he sees into these people and knows their true hearts. He knows that they are smug and self satisfied, relying entirely on the fact that they are Jews, descended from Abraham and therefore supposedly children of God. “Don't count on it”, says John, “God can raise up real children even from stones if he wanted to!  God is looking for fruit and if you don't bear it, He'll chop you down!”.

     No mincing words here! We sometimes need to hear the truth in uncompromising terms. If we hold onto sin in our lives we can't expect God to ignore it; He'll bring His strong discipline into our lives!

  

D. Application:

   

1. Repentance means genuinely turning away from sin.

2. Genuine repentance will be shown by a change of life.

   

  

Chapter: Matthew 3

Passage: Matthew 3:11,12

A. Find Out:

      

1. With what did John baptise? v.11a

"I baptize you with water for repentance

2. How did he describe the ability of the one following him? v.11b

But after me will come one who is more powerful than I,

3. How did he describe his feeling about him? v.11c

whose sandals I am not fit to carry.

4. What did John say this one would do? v.11d

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

5. What did John say was in this one's hand? v.12a

His winnowing fork is in his hand

6. What 3 things did he say he would do? v.12b-

and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

               

B. Think:      

          

1. What differences did John identify between himself and the one who

    was coming after him?

2. How did John view Jesus' ministry?

          

C. Comment:  

    

       In some ways John was very clear about Jesus' ministry and in other ways not so sure. First of all he was quite clear (and correct) about the nature of who Jesus was and what he would do in comparison to John's own ministry. Yes, Jesus was greater than John, was much more powerful than John (John performed no miracles or healings) and was worthy of John's worship. After all John was mere man, while Jesus was God's Son in human form.

     Comparing their ministries, John was baptising people in water, but Jesus would use the Holy Spirit and fire in which to immerse people. On the day of Pentecost the Spirit came down and tongues of fire were seen on all the disciples. Yet perhaps the reference to fire means more than just that: fire that burns up sin as conviction comes, fire that will cleanse, and fire at the end of the age that will destroy all evil.

  

     But then there is John's strong statement about what Jesus is about to do: John believes Jesus will come then and there (it seems) to separate the righteous from the unrighteous and to destroy the unrighteous by fire. Yet when we examine what Jesus did in his three years of ministry it is not with the Old Testament sharpness that he separates and certainly does not destroy. No, He's different from this!

       

D. Application:    

    

1. Jesus comes with power and compassion to save.

2. Yes he does destroy, but not in the open visible way John envisaged .

 

   

Chapter: Matthew 3

 

Passage: Matthew 3:13-17

A. Find Out:

    

1. Why did Jesus come? v.13

Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John

2. What did John try to do and why? v.14

But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

3. Why did Jesus say they should do it? v.15

Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness."

4. As Jesus came out of the water, what happened? v.16

At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

5. What also happened? v.17

And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

    

B. Think:   

            

1. Why did John not want to baptise Jesus and Jesus want it?

2. Of what is a dove a sign?

3. How is what happened here particularly significant?

        

C. Comment:         

          

      For the first time in this Gospel we actually encounter Jesus. He arrives at the Jordan where John was baptising people, having travelled down from his home in the north. He has come with the clear intention of being baptised, but then John recognises him and declares that Jesus hasn't got a reason to be baptised. John says in fact it should be Jesus baptising him. No, says Jesus, for the sake of everyone else, let me appear to do what everyone else is doing, let there be no distinction, let me be seen to be doing what is righteous.

  

     So John baptises Jesus and as he comes up out of the water we have a unique occurrence: the whole trinity is expressed. As the Son comes up out of the water the Spirit falls upon him and the Father's voice is heard from heaven.

     As Matthew records the very first appearance of Jesus on the public stage, he is acclaimed from heaven in such a way that there can be no mistake as to what is happening. The appearance of the Spirit in the form of a dove is a sign of peaceful acceptance from heaven, that here is a dwelling place fit for God. The voice of the Father confirms His approval and acceptance of His Son. There is no question that this one who comes in the form of a man is unique and comes with the strong approval of heaven.

            

D. Application:

          

1. Sometimes we should not only do right but be seen to do it for the sake

     of others, as an example to them.

2. Jesus came with the total approval and blessing of heaven

RECAP: Preparing the Way - Chapter 3

SUMMARY :

  

In this group of 5 studies we have seen :

  

- John the Baptist

   - preaching repentance and baptising people

   - coming as a prophetic fulfilment

   - challenging the Pharisees and Sadducees

- Jesus

   - coming to be baptised

   - insisting on being baptised

   - receiving public acclaim from his Father

     

COMMENT :     

        

      In comparison, this chapter is more brief and has less detail than the previous one as it details the scenario into which Jesus steps. John the Baptist's ministry was attracting much attention; many people were facing their state and were coming for baptism.  In the midst of this Jesus quietly arrives. It is the first sight we have of him.  He insists on being baptised. His first recorded words in this Gospel indicate his heart. Basically he is saying, “Let's do everything that God wants” and as he does it, heaven indicates approval.  

  

LESSONS?    

       

1. Obedience to God in ministry brings blessing

2. We don't have to look good to be a success

3. Repentance means a change in life style

4. Righteousness often has to be seen to be done

5. Obedience to God brings God's approval  

       

PRAY :       

        

      Ask the Lord to show you any areas of your life where you are holding back from Him - and then repent.

      

PART 4 : "Conflict, Calling & Confrontation"   

         

       In this final Part of this set of Studies, we will see the conflict between Satan and Jesus, the calling of Jesus' first disciples and then Jesus confronting darkness by bringing light and life to the land as he preaches and heals. This is action packed!