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Part 5














“Study of Jesus - Book of Mathew”

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  Study of Jesus
  By Darren Caves 
  Chapter 3  verses 8-17
  Preparation For Ministry Cont.

  8 Therefore bear fruit worthy of repentance, 9 and do not presume you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’; for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; so any tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
  11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is greater than I—I am not worthy even to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn; but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.”
  13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan river to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, just as he was coming up from the water, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I delight.”
3:8 Repentance is of two sorts; that which is termed legal, and that which is styled evangelical repentance. The former (which is the same that is spoken of here) is a thorough conviction of sin. The latter is a change of heart (and consequently of life) from all sin to all holiness.
3:9 And say not confidently - The word in the original, vulgarly rendered, Think not, seems here, and in many places, not to diminish, but rather add to the force of the word with which it is joined. We have Abraham to our father - It is almost incredible, how great the presumption of the Jews was on this their relation to Abraham. One of their famous sayings was, "Abraham sits near the gates of hell, and suffers no Israeliteto go down into it." I say unto you - This preface always denotes the importance of what follows. Of these stones - Probably pointing to those which lay before them.
3:10 But the axe also already lieth - That is, there is no room for such idle pretences. Speedy execution is determined against all that do not repent. The comparison seems to be taken from a woodman that has laid down his axe to put off his coat, and then immediately goes to work to cut down the tree. This refers to the wrath to come in verse 7, Matthew 3:7 .Is hewn down - Instantly, without farther delay.
3:11 He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire - He shall fill you with the Holy Ghost, inflaming your hearts with that fire of love, which many waters cannot quench. And this was done, even with a visible appearance as of fire, on the day of pentecost.
3:12 Whose fan - That is, the word of the Gospel. His floor - That is, his Church, which is now covered with a mixture of wheat and chaff. He will gather the wheat into the garner - Will lay up those who are truly good in heaven.
3:15 It becometh us to fulfil all righteousness - It becometh every messenger of God to observe all his righteous ordinances.But the particular meaning of our Lord seems to be, that it becometh us to do (me to receive baptism, and you to administer it) in order to fulfil, that is, that I may fully perform every part of the righteous law of God, and the commission he hath given me.
3:16 And Jesus being baptized - Let our Lord's submitting to baptism teach us a holy exactness in the observance of those institutions which owe their obligation merely to a Divine command. Surely thus it becometh all his followers to fulfil all righteousness. Jesus had no sin to wash away. And yet he was baptized. AndGod owned his ordinance, so as to make it the season of pouring forth the Holy Spirit upon him. And where can we expect this sacred effusion, but in an humble attendance on Divine appointments? Lo, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God - St. Luke adds, in a bodily form - Probably in a glorious appearance of fire, perhaps in the shape of a dove, descending with a hovering motion, till it rested upon him. This was a visible token of those secret operations of the blessed Spirit, by which he was anointed in a peculiar manner; and abundantly fitted for his public work.
3:17 And lo, a voice - We have here a glorious manifestation of the ever - blessed Trinity: the Father speaking from heaven, the Son spoken to, the Holy Ghost descending upon him. In whom I delight - What an encomium is this! How poor to this are all other kindsof praise! To he the pleasure, the delight of God, this is praise indeed: this is true glory: this is the highest, the brightest light, that virtue can appear in.

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