Appearance Baptist Baptizer Desert John Judaea Judea Preaching Proclaiming Saying Waste Wilderness

3:1 In {a} those days came {1} John the Baptist, preaching in the {b} wilderness of Judaea,

(a) Not when Joseph went to dwell at Nazareth, but a great while after, about fifteen years: for in the 30th year of his life Jesus was baptized by John: therefore those days means the time when Jesus remained as an inhabitant of the town of Nazareth.

(1) John, who through his singular holiness and rare austerity of life caused men to cast their eyes on him, prepares the way for Christ who is following fast on his heels, as the prophet Isaiah foretold, and delivers the sum of the gospel, which a short time later would be delivered more fully.

(b) In a hilly country, which was nonetheless inhabited, for Zacharias dwelt there, Lu 1:39,40, and there was Joab's house, 1Ki 2:34; and besides these, Joshua makes mention of six towns that were in the wilderness, Jos 15:61,62.

3:1 John the Baptist and the Baptism of Christ

SUMMARY OF MATTHEW 3. The Preaching of John. The Kingdom of Heaven. John's Raiment and Food. The Great Multitudes. The Pharisee and Sadducees. Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire. Jesus Comes for Baptism. Jesus Baptized in the Jordan. The Anointing of the Spirit. The Voice from Heaven.

In those days. Many years after the incidents of the last chapter; somewhere from twenty-five to thirty.

Came John the Baptist. Called the Baptist or Baptizer because he baptized the people. He came forth as a preacher and reformer. He was the subject of prophecy (Isa 40:3 Mal 3:1); his birth was announced by an angel; he was of a priestly family, the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary. He was now about thirty years old.

Preaching in the wilderness of Judea. A region thinly inhabited, used mostly for pasture, a rocky tract in the eastern part of Judea and west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea.

3:1 In those days - that is, while Jesus dwelt there. In the wilderness of Judea - This was a wilderness properly so called, a wild, barren, desolate place as was that also where our Lord was tempted. But, generally speaking, a wilderness in the New Testament means only a common, or less cultivated place, in opposition to pasture and arable land. Mark 1:1; Luke 3:1.

3:1-6 After Malachi there was no prophet until John the Baptist came. He appeared first in the wilderness of Judea. This was not an uninhabited desert, but a part of the country not thickly peopled, nor much enclosed. No place is so remote as to shut us out from the visits of Divine grace. The doctrine he preached was repentance; Repent ye. The word here used, implies a total alteration in the mind, a change in the judgment, disposition, and affections, another and a better bias of the soul. Consider your ways, change your minds: you have thought amiss; think again, and think aright. True penitents have other thoughts of God and Christ, sin and holiness, of this world and the other, than they had. The change of the mind produces a change of the way. That is gospel repentance, which flows from a sight of Christ, from a sense of his love, and from hopes of pardon and forgiveness through him. It is a great encouragement to us to repent; repent, for your sins shall be pardoned upon your repentance. Return to God in a way of duty, and he will, through Christ, return unto you in the way of mercy. It is still as necessary to repent and humble ourselves, to prepare the way of the Lord, as it then was. There is a great deal to be done, to make way for Christ into a soul, and nothing is more needful than the discovery of sin, and a conviction that we cannot be saved by our own righteousness. The way of sin and Satan is a crooked way; but to prepare a way for Christ, the paths must be made straight, Heb 12:13. Those whose business it is to call others to mourn for sin, and to mortify it, ought themselves to live a serious life, a life of self-denial, and contempt of the world. By giving others this example, John made way for Christ. Many came to John's baptism, but few kept to the profession they made. There may be many forward hearers, where there are few true believers. Curiosity, and love for novelty and variety, may bring many to attend on good preaching, and to be affected for a while, who never are subject to the power of it. Those who received John's doctrine, testified their repentance by confessing their sins. Those only are ready to receive Jesus Christ as their righteousness, who are brought with sorrow and shame to own their guilt. The benefits of the kingdom of heaven, now at hand, were thereupon sealed to them by baptism. John washed them with water, in token that God would cleanse them from all their iniquities, thereby intimating, that by nature and practice all were polluted, and could not be admitted among the people of God, unless washed from their sins in the fountain Christ was to open, Zec 13:1.

Appearance Baptist Baptizer Desert John Judaea Judea Preaching Proclaiming Time Waste Wilderness

Appearance Baptist Baptizer Desert John Judaea Judea Preaching Proclaiming Time Waste Wilderness