John the Baptist Prepares the Way
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’”[a]
4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.[b] 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John Baptizes Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He[c] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “ This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
3:2 Matthew was written in Greek. Can you search for the Greek translation of our word "repent" and share it's meaning?
3:2 Another fulfilled prophecy! In your own words, how do you describe what the "kingdom of heaven at hand" means? Why would John tell the people this?
3:3 How long before this verse was it that Isaiah gave this Prophecy? Why do you suppose God waits so long before His warning until it comes to pass? If a person lived to be 70 how many generations is this before Gods warning was fulfilled?
3:3 What other Prophet in the OT prophesied this scripture other than Isaiah?
3:4 Malachi in the OT prophesied that Elijah would come to tell the people about the coming of Christ, what is the significance of the mention of what John was wearing to give proof to the people that John was the coming messenger?
3:4 What does John's diet confirm?
3:6 Do you feel baptism and confession of sins are still an important act of repentance today?
3:7 Who were the Sadducee what did they believe?
3:7 Who were the Pharisees what did they believe?
3:7 Research the behavior of a brood of vipers and then describe how it parallels John's remark.
3:8 What are the fruits that are worthy of repentance?
3:9 What is the significance of John bringing Abraham up to the Pharisees and Sadducee's?
3:10 What fire is John referring to?
3:10 What is the "good fruit" John is referring to specifically? Is this an action or faith? Explain
3:10 Does this reflect a loving God? Explain
3:11 What does John share that his water baptism is for? Is it an act of repentance or a preparation for repentance?
3:11 When is the Holy Spirit first mentioned in the Bible?
3:11 Would the people understand what the Holy Spirit was at this time? Explain
3:11 What does it mean baptize you in the Holy Spirit and Fire? Could fire signify 2 different meanings here?
3:12 What is a winnowing fan? What does it do?
3:12 Is John explaining or solidifying his statement about being baptized by the Holy Spirit and Fire in this verse?
3:12 Who does the wheat symbolize?
3:12 Who does the chaff symbolize?
3:12 Would a loving God burn up the chaff with an unquenchable fire?
3:12 Is this symbolic of the first or the second coming of Jesus or both? Explain
3:13 Why did Jesus come to be baptized?
3:14 How did John know Jesus was the Messiah at this very moment?
3:15 Even though John knew Jesus was the Messiah it appears that even John did not have full knowledge of God's will and if in charge was going to deny God's will. Does this solidify the importance of following God instead of even God's messengers?
3:16 If Jesus was born without sin and no sin was found in him, what was the significance of the need for Jesus to be baptized?
3:17 This is a beautiful depiction of the trinity. Explain the trinity in your own words based on this scripture.
3:17 What is the significance of this event, prior to yesterday at this time in Jesus's life.
3:18 Who is the voice in heaven?
3:18 Was the voice audible for all or just Jesus?
3:18 What were the significance of each of the three statements the voice in heaven made?