Matthew 3: The Preaching and Work of John the Baptizer

(17 verses, 1:55 to read)


What I am about to READ

The promised son of Zechariah and Elizabeth, John, begins preaching of the coming Messiah and the necessity of repentance. Christ comes as one not needing repentance and forgiveness Himself, yet is baptized in the Jordan nonetheless.


1-12: John the Baptist’s work of preaching and baptizing described

13-17: The sinless Christ comes to be counted with sinners in His baptism in order to fulfill all righteousness.


In approximately the year 700 B.C. the Lord through His prophet Isaiah reminded His people of the promise of a Savior made to mankind in the Garden. The way of this One, True Lord would be prepared and made straight by a herald, a voice crying in the wilderness. Zechariah receives the promise from Gabriel of who his son would be and what his name would be. When the work of John begins in the wilderness, his task of preparing the way for the Lord is shown to be one of preaching Law, baptizing for forgiveness, and, most importantly, pointing all who come to him to the coming Messiah.

John preaches Law and Gospel, that is, sin and grace. He understood that those coming to him to be baptized had been cut to the heart by the Law he had proclaimed. What he didn’t understand was why the sinless Lord, Whose way he had been preparing, came to these same waters. It had not been revealed to him, but had to Christ. Jesus teaches John that His work is to be numbered with sinners, and that this is not only fitting and proper, but that it fulfills all righteousness, that is, works together for the good of the sinner through Christ Jesus. When John relents and baptizes Christ, the Almighty God reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all set to save man through the Son.


Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you that you have revealed Yourself to us in Your Son, Jesus Christ, who was baptized for us and numbered among sinners for us. We thank you that through Jesus life, death, and resurrection, your justice has been done so that our sin may be forgiven. We pray that you constantly remind us of your love for us in Your Son, Jesus Christ and that you keep us with Him and the Holy Spirit in the one, true faith until we die. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor Weslie Odom


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