Statements of John the Baptist

Text: Matthew 3

The OT prophesied of John and his role of preparing the way for Christ (Isaiah 40:3). As he preached in the wilderness (Matthew 3:1), what did he say? This lesson will examine what Matthew records and see what lessons we can learn.

“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand” (Matthew 3:2)

  • This statement summed up John’s message
  • A call to repentance – necessary for all men today (Acts 17:30); an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and a change to follow God
  • The kingdom was “at hand” – close, not 2,000 years or more in the future (Mark 9:1); the kingdom was/is the church (Matthew 16:18-19)

“You Brood of Vipers…” (Matthew 3:7)

  • John was willing to step on people’s toes, say things that weren’t welcome – truth must be proclaimed, regardless of what others might think of it (2 Timothy 4:2-5)
  • He directed this at the Pharisees and Sadducees – feared by the people (John 7:12-13, 32; 12:42)
  • John was fearless (cf. Matthew 14:3-5) – we must speak without fear (1 Peter 3:14-15)

“Bear Fruit in Keeping with Repentance” (Matthew 3:8)

  • Repentance is not just a change of mind, but also of actions
  • We are to bear fruit (John 15:8) – but what kind of fruit? … bear fruit in the ways of God, not in our own ways (Matthew 7:17-20; Colossians 1:10)

“The Axe is Already Laid at the Root of the Trees” (Matthew 3:10)

  • Judgment was coming against the Jewish nation (Matthew 23:37-38; 24:1-2) – they would no longer be God’s chosen people (Romans 10:1-3; 11:20)
  • The way to be spared was to bear good fruit (Colossians 1:10-12) – qualifies us for the inheritance

“He Who is Coming…is Mightier Than I” (Matthew 3:11)

  • John recognized his mission (Matthew 3:2) – he wanted people to look with anticipation for Christ
  • He recognized his role – he was a humble servant (John 3:30); as we must also be (Luke 17:10)

“His Winnowing Fork is in His Hand” (Matthew 3:12)

  • This was to separate the wheat from the chaff – separate the good from the bad; would be done in judgment (Matthew 25:31-33, 46)
  • The righteous (“His wheat“) will be gathered to Him (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
  • The wicked (“the chaff“) will be burned up (Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8)

“I Have Need to be Baptized of You” (Matthew 3:14)

  • To “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15), Jesus needed to be baptized of John – the Father then publicly announced that Jesus was His Son (Matthew 3:17), implying that people were to listen to Him (cf. Matthew 17:5)
  • John recognized the importance of being baptized by Jesus
  • Jesus would tell His apostles to go, preach, and baptized (Mark 16:15-16) – we must be baptized into Christ today (Galatians 3:26-29)

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