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John The Baptist
- Then in those days, John the Baptizer comes preaching in the desert of Judea,
- saying: “Change your minds, and thus your deeds;(1)“Change your minds, and thus your deeds” is one word in Greek, typically translated “repent”. However, it doesn’t speak of remorse or guilt for wrong actions. Rather, it literally means to “think differently after” or to “reconsider”, with an assumed change in behavior. To both the Hebrews and 1st century Greeks/Romans, a change in mind was synonymous with a change in behavior; you couldn’t have the first without the second. for the kingdom of the heavens was – and is – drawing near.”
- For this is the man spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, saying; “The voice urgently pleading in the desert: prepare the way of the Lord. Make His way straight.”(3)quotation/allusion to Isaiah 40:3
- And John himself was wearing a robe made from camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist,(2)quotation/allusion to 2 Kings 1:8, which describes the prophet Elijah as “a hairy man with a leather belt around his waist”. and his food was locusts and wild honey.
- At that time, Jerusalem was going out to him; and all Judea, and all the area around the Jordan.
- They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River and openly confessing their sins.
- And having seen many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them; “You offspring of serpents!(4)“You offspring of serpents!” This isn’t mere name calling. Satan is always represented as a serpent. Therefore, calling them the “offspring of serpents” is akin to saying they are Satan’s children/followers. Further, this understanding makes John’s comment in 3:9 make much more sense. Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?”(5)“wrath” the Greek word refers to anger or wrath that has built up over a longer period. This isn’t an outburst of anger in the moment; it’s matured over time.
- “Therefore, produce fruit worthy of a changed mind.”(6)See note on 3:2
- “And don’t presume to say among yourselves; “We have Abraham as a father”. For I tell you that God has the power to raise up children of Abraham from these stones.”
- “Already, the axe is laid near the root(7)“root” the Greek word here can also mean “descendant”, which is quite relevant considering the context. of the trees. Therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is cut off and thrown into the fire.”
- “Indeed, I baptize you in water toward changed minds, and thus changed deeds.(8)See note on 3:2 But the One who comes after me is mightier than I; He whose sandals I’m not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.”
- “He whose winnowing fork(9)“winnowing fork” is a literal translation of the Greek word here. A “winnowing fork” is used for “winnowing”. Winnowing is the process of separating the useful/edible grain from the useless chaff. Chaff is the husks and stem fragments of a grain plant that are useless for anything. You “winnow” by using a winnowing fork to throw the mixture up into the air. The wind blows away the lighter chaff, while the heavier grain falls back down to be collected. This process was done on a “threshing floor”, which had to be cleaned prior to use because food was prepared (winnowed) there. is in His hand. And He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor and will gather His grain into the barn. But the chaff He will burn completely with unquenchable fire.
- Then Jesus comes from Galilee to the Jordan, to John to be baptized by(10)“by” the Greek word here can also mean “under”, sometimes with the connotation of authority; i.e. “under” in the sense of authority. him.
- But John was stubbornly hindering Him, saying; “I have a need to be baptized by(11)see previous note. you, and you come to me?”
- But answering, Jesus said to him; “Let that go, just for now. For it’s proper for us to fulfill all righteousness in this way.” Then he lets it go.
- And having been baptized, Jesus immediately came up away from the water. And behold; the heavens were opened [to Him] and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon Him.
- And behold; there was a voice from the heavens saying; “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
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