- We are on to Chapter 3 in Matthew. In this chapter we learn that John baptizes Jesus. (That's what the H2o is for)
In Luke 1:5-25, we learn that John and Jesus were cousins. John was less than a year older than Jesus. We also learn that both of John's parents were of the priestly line, decedents of Aaron. Remember, his dad was offering a sacrifice as priest in the temple when he was told of the future birth of his son , the one chosen to herald the coming of the messiah. All of this info makes his statement to the Sadducees and Pharisees very interesting. In Matt. 3:7, he calls them a brood of vipers. He doesn't just call them snakes. He calls them a brood of vipers, deadly venomous snakes in the process of producing other deadly, venomous snakes. I'm guessing that the Pharisees and Sadducees were shocked and angry at being called such a horrific name in front of all of the people gathered around John.
The Pharisees were considered to be the strict, the devout, the holier than everyone else group. The Sadducees were made up of mostly wealthy priests. Pharisees and Sadducees were just sects of Judaism. Like Methodists and Baptists are sects of Christianity . All of this aside, both groups considered themselves far above the common Jew.
Another thing I want to mention about John is that in John 1:31 and 33, John the baptist says that he didn't recognize Him. Him being Jesus of course. He did not mean that he didn't know who He was. He meant that he didn't know his cousin was the messiah until the Lord told him that it would be the one that the Holy Spirit would descend on and remain on. He probably thought that Jesus was there for the same reason everybody else was. John was probably surprised when the Holy Spirit, as a dove, sat down on his cousin. John obviously didn't remember jumping in his mother's womb when Mary came in the door 30 years earlier. I think, I digress.
One last things about John. We know that John was thrown into prison because of what he was saying about Herod the Tetriarch stealing his brothers wife, Herodias (Luke 7:18-23). While in prison, he sent 2 of his disciples to ask Jesus if He was really the messiah, or, should they look for some one else. John knew without a doubt that Jesus was the messiah. What was happening to John is what happens to a lot of us . We do what we know God has told us to do and then when things don't work out the way that we have it worked out in our minds. We try to fix the situation thinking that something must be wrong. John wanted out of prison. The new kingdom age of the messiah was here. He was sure there was a mistake. He didn't belong in prison. This shows that even John did not understand what Jesus's true ministry would be.
I read a commentary on this passage. The person writing the commentary said that John did this as a way to point these 2 disciples to Jesus . I personally don't believe this. I think some commentary writers over spiritualize things we read in scripture. John was a real person, although he experienced God's hand in his life in a mighty way, he was still just a human with weaknesses and faults. He definitely had the ability to misunderstand prophecy just like everyone else of his generation. The clue we get to this is Jesus saying in Luke 7:23 " and blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over me." This statement was definitely meant for John, even though Jesus could have said this very thing to his own family. That is a whole other subject for a whole other day.
After that we all know what happened to John . You can read the story in Matthew 14:3-12 and Mark 6:17-29.
The girls name was Salome. We find that out from Josephus. He gives us her name in the family genealogy of the Herod's.
OK, so this is How we will remember Chapter 3 of Matthew.
H2O the chemical symbol for water, JESUS IS BAPTIZED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST and
TRINITY (the 3) when Jesus come out of the water, we see JESUS THE SON, THE HOLY SPIRIT AS A DOVE and GOD THE FATHER speaking from the clouds.
So to recap all tools we are using to remember our chapters....
CHAPTER 1, first 17 verses are genealogy. After that if you turn the 18 on it's side, it kind of looks like a SWADDLED BABY. THE (ONE) ONLY BEGOTTEN SON IS BORN. It's the Christmas story.
CHAPTER 2, JESUS TURNS 2, THE WISE MEN COME, HEROD SLAUGHTERS THE 2 YEAR OLDS
CHAPTER 3, H20 (water) John baptizes Jesus. THE TRINITY (3) When Jesus comes from the water we see God the Father speaking from the clouds, Jesus, God the Son, coming from the water and God the Holy Spirit, resting on Jesus as a dove.
Time to start reading Chapter 4, remember to read it as many times as you can. It will help you remember what is in each chapter and it will help you to see Matthew as a whole as we get farther into the book. Also, don't forget to practice as you go to sleep at night. (this will help you to meditate on God's word day and night. Psalm 1:2)