B  P  1-. John. Time.
    Q  j  -1. His Proclamation.
        k  2. Subject. Repentance.
         R  3-. Isaiah.
    Q  j  -3-. His cry.
        k  -3. Subject. Preparation.
   P  4. John Manner.

26 A.D.
Matthew 3)

1 And in those days (while the Lord, being grown up, was still dwelling in Nazareth. (see the 18 missing years, from ages 12 to 30) in the life of Jesus.) came John the baptiser (because "the word of God" had come to him [Luke 3:2]),

proclaiming as a herald in the country parts of Judaea, (Which were not without towns or villages. David passed much of his time there. So John, Probably in some occupation also; John now 30 years old. He was the last and greatest of the prophets, and would have been reckoned as Elijah himself, or as an Elijah [Matt. 11:14] had the nation obeyed his proclamation.)

2 And saying, "Repent you: for the kingdom of heavens had drawn near." (What draws near may withdraw. See 21:43. Acts 1:6; 3:20)

3 For this is he that was spoken (as well as written) of by means of the prophet Isaiah, (Quoted from Isa. 40:3)

saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness,

'Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.'"

4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair (cp. 2 Kings 1:8), and a leather girdle about his loins (worn today by peasants in Palestine); and his food was locusts and wild honey. (Locusts form the food of the people today; and, being provided for in the Law. Lev. 11:22)

3:5-17. BAPTISM.
C  S  l  5. The Coming of the People to John.
       m  6. Their Baptism.
        T  7-9. John's Warning.
        T  10-12. John's Threatening.
   S  l  13. The Coming of the Messiah to John.
       m  14-17. His Baptism.

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6 And were being baptized by him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees (see Acts 15:5) come to his baptism, he said to them, "O offspring of vipers (venomous vipers), who has forewarned (or who has suggested or given you the hint?) you to flee away from the wrath about to come? (The reference is to Mal. 4:1. The coming of Messiah was always connected with judgment; which would have come to pass had the nation repented of all the preaching of "them that heard Him" [Heb. 2:3. Cp. 22:4]. The "times of refreshing", and "the restoration of all things" of Acts 3:19-26, would have followed. Hence 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:16; 5:9.)
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance:
9 And think not for a moment (this is an idiom to be frequently met with in Jerusalem; and agrees with the Jerusalem Talmud - be not of that opinion) not to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father:' (cp. John 8:39. Rom. 4:1-6; 9:7. Gal. 3:9) for I say unto you, that God is able out of these stones to raise up children to Abraham." (God can convert whoever He wants)

T  n  10. Warning. The "Ax" and the "Fire".
    o  11-. John's Baptism.
     p  -11-. Christ and John.
    o  -11. Christ's Baptism.
   n  12. Warning. The "Fan" and the "Fire".

10 And already the axe is is laying at the root of the trees (The Jerusalem Talmud refers Isa. 10:33,34 to the destruction of Jerusalem; and argues from Isa. 11:1 that Messiah would be born shortly before it.): therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit getting hewn down, and cast into the fire. (the consuming fire)
11 I indeed baptize you with water to repentance.

but He that comes after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not fit to fetch (Mark: "stoop down and unloose". Luke: "unloose". Prob. repeated often in different forms): He shall baptize you (emph. = He Himself will, and no other) with the Holy Spirit, and with fire: (Ministers of fire. If you are not baptized with this you are in trouble. See Acts 2:3. Fig. of speech = yes, with a burning [or purifying] spirit too, separating the chaff from the wheat [next verse], not mingling them together in water. Fire here is symbolic. In v.12, the "fire is literal; for destroying, not for purging. Note the 7 emblems of the Spirit in Scriptures. "FIRE" [here, Acts 2:3]; "WATER" [Ezek 36:25. John 3:5; 7:38,39]; "WIND" [Ezek. 37:1-10]; "OIL" [Isa. 61:1. Heb. 1:9]; a "SEAL" [Eph. 1:13; 4:30]; an "EARNEST" [Eph. 1:14]; a "DOVE" [Matt. 3:16].)

12 Whose winnowing shovel is in His hand (God's fan to get rid of the chaff; Satan sifts to get rid of the wheat [Luke 22:32]), and He will thoroughly purge His threshing-floor, and gather together His wheat (true Israel) into the garner; but He will quite burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

13 Then comes Jesus away from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John was hindering Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized of You, and You come to me?"
15 And Jesus answering said to him, "Suffer it to be so (or, by "me". The Lord now, and here, recognized by John [John 1:31-34]) now: for thus (in fulfilling this duty) it becomes us (this duty was incumbent on John as a minister of that Dispensation; likewise on the Lord: hence the word "thus". The reason is John 1:21.) to fulfill all righteousness (or every claim of righteous duty. This was the anointing of Messiah, and anointing was accomplished by immersion [Ex. 29:7-7; 40:12. Lev. 8:6])." Then he suffered Him.
16 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway away from the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending as if it were a dove (resembling in appearance: referring to the descent, not to bodily form as in Mark 1:10. In Luke 3:22 it may still be connected with the manner of descent, the bodily form referring to the Holy Spirit), and coming upon Him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, "This is My Son, the beloved [Son] (not Joseph's or Mary's son), in whom I have found delight."

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