This particular chapter talks about John the Baptist preparing the way for Jesus Christ even before Jesus began His work here on earth. This particular chapter surprisingly shows us the first and last encounter between John and Jesus, if there were any other meetings, well they were not indicated here in the book of Matthew but the book of John records two meetings yet people have talked about this meeting and even taught about it and this could only have been possible because this encounter was an extraordinary one. John had one purpose and that was to introduce and reveal Jesus to Israel! All he ever did in his life was to prepare for the coming of Jesus. It may look like an ordinary task but that was all John lived for, for more than 30 years he lived for not more than two meetings, with one man, for one moment, one action and not even for a whole day. He didn’t even get the chance to hang out with Christ like the twelve disciples did. All he learned, all he ever did was prepare for Christ. All he had to do was prepare for the coming of Jesus, does that sound familiar to you? He had to prepare himself and his disciples including the people for this one person and how John the Baptist was so diligent at his purpose. He was all about Jesus, he preached about Jesus and the Kingdom. John worked with the Holy Spirit and when Jesus saw him, He recognised him too and that was their first meeting and when Jesus came, He met John doing only what God has called him to do, PREPARE THE WAY FOR CHRIST. This was all John was about and he lived full and died empty. He lived for Christ.
All that God has asked us to do as believers is to prepare the way until the Christ comes to the earth the second time and this is a responsibility that every believer should have in mind. Just like John we are meant to live our lives for Christ. Preparing ourselves and the people around us unselfishly for the coming of the Lord. John lived all the days of his life so that the Lord would use him to confirm the sonship of Jesus and unleash Him into the ministry and that was all he did. He prayed, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of God, he raised disciples and baptized people just for the coming of Christ and this is the same thing we have been asked to do as Christians. Live for God, prepare the way for Christ.
I declare that i unselfishly live my life for the glory of God. All that I do will be to prepare the way for Christ. I will be diligent with my purpose and wait for the Lord in Jesus’ name.
Matthew 3 – 4:11
Reading – John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[a]
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist.His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with[b] water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”Then John consented.
16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[d] by the devil.2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[e]”
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[f]”
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[g]”
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[h]”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
- Matthew 3:3 Isaiah 40:3
- Matthew 3:11 Or in
- Matthew 3:11 Or in
- Matthew 4:1 The Greek for tempted can also mean tested.
- Matthew 4:4 Deut. 8:3
- Matthew 4:6 Psalm 91:11,12
- Matthew 4:7 Deut. 6:16
- Matthew 4:10 Deut. 6:13
All scriptural passages are taken from the NIV version of The Bible.