This was a bit harder to understand than the previous two (or maybe it’s just that I’ve had things on my mind but here are my reading notes now:
- I can’t get this poem out of my head:
A voice of one calling in the desert
Prepare the way for the Lord
Make straight paths for him (Matthew 3:3)
- Lots of people went out to see John the Baptist – according to Matthew, people went to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. That’s a pretty big area. They all came to be baptized and confess their sins. He must have been a pretty persuasive and popular preacher.
- Many of the Pharisees and Sadducees also came out to see him. Did they want to be baptized or were they just curious. Weren’t the Pharisees basically the bad guys? What did they want to do with John the Baptist and why was he so harsh with them? Did they have some history or did he just know them as bad guys?
- “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” John taught that judgment was on its way.
- Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (3:8) – what does that mean and why was he telling it to the Pharisees? What kind of fruit accompanies repentance?
- The one coming after John will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. (3:11) Why fire? What does that mean?
- In 3:13, when Jesus comes to be baptized by John and John tries to dissuade him, why does Jesus reply that they must do it to fulfill all righteousness?
- And the highlight: When Jesus comes out of the water, and a voice from heaven says: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased”