Bible Study Lessons from Matthew 3:1-12
These passages from the Gospel of Matthew teach us how John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ.
He taught a message of repentance and salvation – and later would baptize Jesus marking the beginning of Christ’s ministry.
John Baptist Prepares the Way for Jesus
“‘As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.’ ” Matthew 3:11-12 NASB
John The Baptist Predicts the Coming of Christ
A footnote here is that you can read the profile of John the Baptist in John 1.
The sixth through eighth verses state:
” There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light.” – John 1:6-8 NIV
Purpose of John the Baptist
In these passages, John the Baptist is clearly not the “Light” – the person he is speaking of is Jesus Christ who will come after.
In our study today, John is calling for repentance of the people in preparation. His message is simple but powerful.
The rewards come to those who will believe and repent but there will be a terrible time for those who choose not to listen.
“From the cradle to the cross, from the cross to the sky ..”
Christ came first as a servant to be sacrificed on the cross, die, and rise again for our sins but will come again as our King and Lord.
John the Baptist knew this and was desperate to prepare for the coming of Jesus to start a ministry which would live to this day and all the days to come.
John the Baptist Recognizes the Heart of the Religious Leaders
It’s ironic that John called the Pharisees and Sadducees a brood of vipers in that these are some of the very people who would later call for the crucifixion of Christ.
Both John the Baptist and Christ were a threat to the religious leaders of the day because they were pulling people away from the synagogue and causing the priests to lose some of their power.
With that said it makes perfect sense that the Pharisees and Sadduces tried to quiet John the Baptist. They later found a way to silence Jesus (so they thought) to retain their control over the people, not to mention protecting their financial status.
Are We Prepared?
John the Baptist had a calling to prepare the people to meet Christ. In the same way we as Christians need to be prepared to meet Him.
We should help others to see how Jesus can bring meaning to their lives by following the example Christ left for us.
This does not mean that we should become like a monk and wear a long robe. But, it does mean that we should strive to follow the two commandments Jesus deemed as most important:
To love God and to love each other.
Can we at least make an effort?
Love in Christ
If you would like to learn about the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read John 3:16 to find more information.
Read All Verses Here:
New American Standard Bible
New King James Version