John the Baptist (Matthew #7)

Text: Matthew 3:1-6

Spectacle of a preacher (vs 1)

  • The spectacle of a spiritual man
    • Disconnected from the cares of this world
    • Luke 1:13-17 spirit of Elias (Elijah), he’ll be great in the sight of the Lord, prepare people for the Messiah
    • John is not the founder of the Baptist church.  He’s called the Baptist because he baptizes people.
  • Impacted the world
    • John heralds the coming King of the Jews.  Luke 3:1-2 is a humorous way of introducing John the Baptist by listing the highest political officials, highest religious leaders, but the most consequential figure was John the Baptist who had the word of God
    • Ministry lasts 6 months?

Lost message in preaching (vs 2)

  • Repentance –
  • The word and its variations appear 104 times in the Bible; 32 of those times it is dealing with God repenting or not.  The first time the word shows up in the Bible it is God doing the repenting. 62 times New Testament and 16 times Paul is prescribing it.
  • Some preachers these days have made repentance a work, more specifically, a disqualifying work.  If you call repentance a work then you have to say calling upon the name of the Lord is a work.
    • Matthew 3:1-2 – John preaches repentance
    • Matthew 4:17 – Jesus preaches repentance (KOH), Mark 1:14-15 (KOG).  Repent and believe the gospel
    • Acts 3:19 – Peter and John preach repentance
    • Acts 8:9-22 – Simon believes, baptized, but not saved.
    • Acts 20:21
    • Acts 26:18, 20-21 – Paul preaches repentance
    • Romans 2:4-5
  • Before we make our own definition of repentance such as turning from sin, we also have to consider that God is the first one in the Bible to repent.
  • Repentance is not salvation and salvation is not repentance.  Salvation is believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.

Fulfilled prophecy (vs 3)

  • Isaiah 40:3-4
  • John the Baptist fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy?

Elijah the prophet (vs 4)

  • Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
  • John the Baptist as Elijah in Matthew 11:7-15
  • Parallels:
    • Elijah and John both came out of the wilderness.
    • Elijah and John both wore rough clothes
    • Elijah and John preached during a time when a king that didn’t belong on the throne was on the throne (Ahab and Herod)
    • Elijah and John were both hated by the king’s wife (Jezebel and Herodias)
    • Elijah and John both question the effectiveness of their ministries at the end (Matthew 11:3 and 1 Kings 19)

Curious altar (vs 5)

  • Wilderness, not the temple
  • Confessing their sins and being baptized in the Jordan instead of confessing their sins and offering a sacrifice on the altar.

Baptizing (vs 6)

  • So where did baptism come from?
  • Leviticus 16:21-23 may be the source.
    • Confession
    • Wilderness sin would be let go
    • Washing the body
  • But more likely it came from 2 Kings 5:9-14
    • Both in the Jordan
    • Elisha is a continuation of Elijah’s ministry and so is John