Matthew 3:11-12 John the Baptist.
Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 23, 2011
Matthew 3:11-12 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am
not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: (12) Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
John’s birth was another miraculous event recorded in the gospels. His parents, “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.” His mother, “Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.” (Luke 1:6-7)
God’s plans do not over look a single detail. When God chose Mary and Joseph, He chose a husband and wife He was certain would follow His instructions. Zacharias and Elizabeth were also righteous before God, but did they follow God’s instructions? Not in a manner we would expect. Did this deter God? Not a chance. Some how, everything fit into God’s plan.
Zacharias was told by an angel his “prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.” (Luke 1:13) Unlike Joseph, Zacharias questioned the angel. Because of his doubt, Zacharias‘ voice was taken away, until after John’s birth when Zacharias confirmed the name he had been given by the angel.
It seems odd Joseph accepted a message from an angel given to him in a dream, while Zacharias, a priest, doubted the word of an angel, physically appearing before him. Zacharias, “executed the priest’s office before God, and there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.” (Luke 1:8). This is a peculiar set of circumstances to consider, and yet it illustrates future events in the life and ministry of Jesus. As common people flocked to Jesus believing, accepting, and understanding the lessons He taught, many of the priests refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God.
Zacharias was raised and educated to serve as a priest. This may have influenced his outlook, and understanding of the scriptures. This may be why his son, John was called away to learn in God’s classroom of nature and the scriptures. Zacharias may have had a knowledge of the word, but little insight to its meaning. We see this expressed by his faith in the things he saw, but could not explain.
As the child, John “grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.” (Luke 1:80)
After spending many years alone in the desert, away from the influence of the world, God taught and equipped John for the task he was born to accomplish. His mission of preparing the way for Jesus was as miraculous as circumstances surrounding his birth. John was called, “the prophet of the Highest,” prepared by God, “to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:76-79).
Imagine being the one person chosen by God to prepare the world for His Son’s ministry. Why did God choose only one person to accomplish this task? Is there a message in this theme? One person proclaiming a message which was accepted as enthusiastically by some, as it was rejected by others. The work of each and every individual is important in proclaiming Christ’s message, which requires preparation, dedication, and time alone with God.
John’s study of the scriptures gave him the utmost respect for Jesus. John felt he was not worthy to carry Jesus’ shoes. Can you imagine respecting someone to such an extent, feeling unworthy to carry their shoes? John gave up his life for Jesus. He spent years in a desert with no human contact. His only company was the Holy Spirit. No source of food except for the simple diet provided by God, from day to day. John learned to trust God for everything in his simple life.
Imagine studying scripture and having the Holy Spirit reveal a prophecy about your life. John was shown this prophecy in the book of Isaiah. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 40:3-5) This is what John had dedicated his life to, giving up every earthly comfort to accomplish this task. John’s life was an example of self sacrifice, a life dedicated to serving the Lord, by proclaiming Jesus’ mission.
John must have felt he was unworthy to carry Jesus’ shoes after reading, and understanding Jesus’ mission. Did John feel he was unable to drink from the same cup Jesus was going to drink? Did John see the details of Jesus’ life revealed in the scriptures?
The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: Deuteronomy 18:15, Psalms 8:5-6.
The lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Exodus 12:5, Leviticus 17:11.
I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They gnashed upon me with their teeth. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, He that is hanged is accursed of God. Psalms 22:6-8, Psalms 35:16, Psalms 35:11, Psalms 69:20-21, Psalms 34:20, Deuteronomy 21:23.
He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: With his stripes we are healed. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, he was cut off out of the land of the living: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:2-5, 6-10, 12.
Jesus came to baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit, “when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Jesus gave this promise before His death and fulfilled it after His resurrection. This same Spirit is available to us today. “You are the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvelous light. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (1 Peter 2:9, Acts 2:17-18)
Jesus will also baptize His followers with fire. Jesus never promised His followers a life filled with only joy. A Christian’s life is also filled with trials. No one willing enters the fires of a trial. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not willing walk into the furnace, they were thrown in by servants of Babylon. “Nebuchadnezzar lost his temper, and his face turned red with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. So he ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual. And he commanded the strongest men in his army to tie the three men up and throw them into the blazing furnace.” (Daniel 3:19-20) In the middle of the furnace was, “the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25) Jesus draws closer to us in our trials.
Jesus will one day return to take His followers home. “This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven. Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Acts 1:10-11, Revelation 21:3-5)
Jesus also has power over another fire. One who will purge the world from sin forever. “The devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:10, 12-15)
John’s message was to proclaim the coming of the Son of God in all His wisdom and power. John’s message contained a blessing and a warning. His message told of the power of Holy Spirit, available to all who follow Jesus, who has power over life and death. One day He will return to gather His followers, those who understand the message John began, and Jesus gave to us to continue. John also told about the result of all those who choose not to accept the message.
This is part of GOD the FATHER’s perfect plan. Why HE chooses only one person to accomplish the task. Though we cannot totally fathom HIS plans and HIS great love for the human race, we can however agree, all people proclaiming GOD’s glory and sharing the story of HIS only Son is given as one, in perfect unity to BUILD HIS ONLY ONE KINGDOM in heaven.
This entry was posted on September 23, 2011 at 9:49 am and is filed under Gospel Messages Matthew. Tagged: altar of incense, angel of the Lord, atonement for your souls, baptize you with the Holy Ghost, book of life, books were opened, call his name John, chosen race, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, crooked shall be made straight, despised and rejected, Deuteronomy 18, dominion over the works of thy hands, God's own people, hanged is accursed of God, hell delivered up the dead, holy nation, Jesus came to baptize, knowledge of salvation, life of the flesh is in the blood, Matthew 3:11-12 John the Baptist, no form nor comeliness, numbered with the transgressors, poured out his soul unto death, Psalms 8, shadow of death, tabernacle of God is with men, tender mercy of our God, trusted on the LORD, unquenchable fire, vinegar to drink, water unto repentance, waxed strong in spirit, way of peace, With his stripes we are healed, Zacharias. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.