Biblical Studies/New Testament Commentaries/The Gospel of Matthew/Chapter 3
Matthew Chapter 3
This passage begins with a description of the work John the Baptist was doing in the dessert of Judea. First it describes his message as one of repentance. Then Matthew confirms John as the one who was to prepare the way for the messiah by referencing a passage from Isaiah 40. It then moves on to describe the way John lived. He wears camel’s hair, eats locusts, and baptizes people from the city who come to him and confess their sins.
The next part seems to be about John’s relation to the religious leaders. He calls them a brood of vipers and criticizes their teachings. He tells them that God can “raise up children of Abraham out of these stones”(NIV). This could be the first indication of Gentiles later acceptance into the church. He even seems to tell the religious leaders that they may be “cut down” and “thrown into the fire.”
The third part of this passage seems to be about the messiah. First, John prophesizes about the man for which he is clearing the way. He describes the difference between what he is doing and what the messiah will do. Finally it describes Jesus’ arrival, confirmation of his identity, and baptism by John. The chapter ends with a voice from the heavens confirming once more of whom Jesus is.