Matthew 3:1-12 – The Message of John the Baptist

John Carter – October 8, 2017



The work of an evangelist is giving the good news. The work of a herald is declaring the information given to them.

Elijah – Fire from Heaven, strong words

Elisha – Raised a child from the dead, healed leprosy

Repent: Change one’s mind; feel remorse, be converted, conversion, turnabout.

It appears in this text that true repentance (Mt3:2) is followed by a public confession of any wrongdoings, sins (Mt3:6), and then by actions that reflect the change in heart/mind (Mt 3:8).

Although repentance is the change of heart/mind, repentance is of no value if there are no actions to give evidence of a change in heart/mind. I may sincerely feel bad for punching a baby in the face, but what use is my confession of wrongdoing if I continue to punch the baby in the face? (James)

Does your change in heart/mind produce worthy fruit being considered evidence of repentance? If I was to judge the claims you make by what you do, would there be consistency? Not, if I judge you by my standard, but by the standard which you claim? (Story when a person got made that Starbucks wasn’t McDonald’s and didn’t sell Coke.) I don’t get made that pine trees don’t produce pizza. Why? Because they never promised too. I would become irritated if I went down to Roundtable Pizza and they told me that they don’t sell pizza anymore. This is not to be confused with becoming irritated when you find pineapple on your pizza. There is a difference between producing something others don’t like and producing something that is entirely inconsistent with the claims you are making.

2 Kings 2:9

Jeremiah 40:3-8

Romans 2:12-16

Romans 3:19-26



Matthew 3:1-12

Now in those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea. Saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven has neared.” For this is the one being spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “a voice crying in the wilderness: prepare the way of Lord! Make straight his path.” Now John had his clothing from camel hair and a belt of skin around his waist. His food was locust and wild honey.

Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the area of the Jordan came out to him. They were baptized in the Jordan river by him; confessing[1] their sins. But seeing many of the Pharisees and the Sadducees coming up to the baptism he said to them, “Children of poisonous snakes, who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? So[2] make fitting fruit from repentance. Do not say within yourselves, ‘we have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise children in[3] Abraham out of these stones.

“Even now the ax is laying at the root of the tree. So,[4] every tree not making good fruit is being cut down and is being thrown into fire. Now I baptize you in water into repentance, but one is coming after me, stronger than me— whose sandal I am not qualified to remove—he will baptize you in holy spirit and fire. Whose winnowing-fork[5] is in his hand. He will clean his threshing floor and he will gather his grain into the storehouse. But the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

[1] Publicly admitting

[2] So… since you are coming…

[3] Hebraism, the idea of children coming from within the fathers. Not just ‘from’ but ‘from in.’

[4] So… it is…

[5] Ptuov