John the Baptist the Forerunner (3:1-12): In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 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’” (verses 1-3).

John the Baptist Prepares the Way: John the Baptist was born 7 B.C. to Zechariah, a priest, and his wife Elizabeth (see Lk 1:5-80). John the Baptizer is a colorful prophetic figure who introduces the story of Jesus in all four Gospels. He dresses like Elijah, and he sounds like Isaiah or Amos. In both the Matthew and Mark accounts, John is introduced to us as the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3. All three Synoptic Gospels quote Isaiah 40:3 (Luke quotes two additional verses) and apply it to John the Baptist.

John the Baptist message is one of repentance, or metanoia, to use the Greek word. It refers to far more than saying one is sorry for past sins, far more than mere regret or remorse for such sins. It refers to a turning away from the past way of life and the inauguration of a new one, in this case initialized by an act of baptism.

The Baptism of Jesus (3:13–17): Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us, to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”  Then John consented.”

This occasion marked the beginning of Christ’s Messianic ministry.  There were several reasons for Jesus’ baptism: 1) The first, mentioned here, was “to fulfill all righteousness.”  The baptism indicated that he was consecrated to God and officially approved by God, as especially shown in the descent of the Holy Spirit (v. 16) and the words of the Father (v.17; c.f. Ps. 2:7; Isa 42:1).  All of God’s righteous requirements for the Messiah were fully met in Jesus.  2) At Jesus’ baptism John publicly announced the arrival of the Messiah and the inception of Jesus’ ministry (Jn 1:31-34).

OUTLINE – Monday, February 20- February 26, 2017

His Temptation (4:1–11)

Jesus’ Ministry in Galilee:

The Beginning of the Galilean Campaign (4:12–25)

The Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5–7)

A Collection of Miracles (chs. 8–9)