Matthew 3 Questions

Day 1

1. How many years do you think lapsed between the end of Matthew 2 and Matthew 3:1? What is recorded in Scriptures about Jesus between his infancy and his baptism? ( Luke 2:40-52 )

2. What do you know from Scripture about John the Baptist? (Read also Matthew 3, Luke 1:13-17; 57-80; Matthew 11:11; Mark 6:17-20)

3. The angel messenger said to Zechariah that John would be great and Jesus said John was the greatest person to ever live. What made him so great? (Read also Luke 1:15, 17; John 1:29-31; 35; John 3:30)

  1. He was obedient to God's Word. From the very beginning of his life, he obeyed.
  2. He was filled & controlled with the Spirit. Luke 1:15 says he "was filled with the Spirit from the time of his mother's womb."
  3. He was self-controlled. Luke 1:15 says he, "drank neither wine nor strong drink." Matthew 3 says that, "His clothes were only what was necessary, and his food the same." The man had brought his body into subjection. He didn't overdo anything.
  4. He was humble. In John 3:30, John says "He (Jesus) must increase, and I must decrease. I'm not even worthy to carry His sandals." (lowest task for a slave to do)
  5. He proclaimed God's Word. "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29-31,35) "Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Matt 3:2
  6. He brought people to repentance. "He shall turn many of the hearts of the people to righteousness." Luke 1:17 And he did.

In Matthew 11:11 Jesus says, "there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." We're greater than John in terms of privilege and opportunity. We have resources that they didn't have. We have the Holy Spirit in our lives, and Christ is interceding for us and empowering us. If we were also to also adopt into our own lives the things that made John great, we could become greater than John

4. Read Matthew 3:1-2; 8 - 12. What was John the Baptist's message? Why would that message have surprized the Jewish people he was talking to?

Day 2

5. What does repent mean?

6. Why should they repent?

7. What is the significance of the phrase "Kingdom of heaven"?

8. What is the significance of John the Baptist being in the wilderness?

Day 3

9. What was John the Baptist's mission?

10. How did people respond to John the Baptist?

11. Who were the Pharisees? Who were the Sadducees? What can we learn about them from Matthew 23?

Matthew 23

12.a) Why do you think the Pharisees and Sadducees were coming to where John was baptizing?

b) How did John respond to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they came to him in the desert?

c) When John the Baptist talks to the Pharisees and Sadducees in front of everyone else, what is he really telling them?

Day 4

13. What are the fruits of repentance? (Read Luke 3:11, 13, 14; Isaiah 1:16-17)

14. Who is Matthew referring to in chapter 3:11 & 12?

What does he mean when he says: that He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire? He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire?

15. Three baptisms are mentioned in Matthew 3:11. What are they and when did or will these baptisms happen?

  1. John's baptism of repentance - was in preparation for Christ's coming. You got to get right with God before you can enter the kingdom. Before you can receive the King, there needs to be preparation. They were going through baptism as a symbol of an inward cleansing as they confessed their sins and they got right with God so they'd be ready when the Messiah arrived.
  2. The baptism with the Holy Spirit by Jesus Christ. Christ came, established His church, baptized the church in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said I can't send you the Holy Spirit until I go back to Heaven, but when I go to Heaven, I'll send the Spirit. And He did. (John 14) The Holy Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost and Christ literally baptized those believers with the Holy Spirit, placing them in the body of Christ. I Corinthians 12:13 says "For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body..." The baptism of the Holy Spirit takes the believer and places him in Christ and fuses them with every other believer. It's the unifying thing. He will submerge you in His power and fill you with the Holy Spirit.
  3. The baptism with fire - will be the result of His return. He's coming to purify the nations with fire all the proud, arrogant and every evildoer. Malachi 4:1-3 Matthew picks up on this and says, He's coming and He's coming for salvation and He's coming to baptize you with the Spirit, but if you say no to Him, He'll come with the baptism of fire and send you to Hell.

16. Why did Jesus come to John to be baptized?

Day 5

17. In Matthew 3:13-17 it is like a commissioning on the beginning of Jesus' ministry. What are the three aspects to the commissioning of Jesus Christ?

  1. The baptism of the Son - By baptism, He identifies with sinners and pictures His death.
  2. The heavens opening and the anointing of the Spirit - The spirit of God descended like a dove and settled on Jesus. This was indicating that the power and presence of God was upon him. By being anointed with the Spirit, He is empowered to minister a ministry that ultimately will make Him a sacrifice. He was also being granted strength in His humanness.
  3. the Word of the Father - A voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." The term "well pleased" is in the past tense. In other words, God says, "I've examined my son for the past 30 years. He is without spot, and I am well pleased."

What an introduction. What a beginning to his ministry!

18. What is the purpose of baptism now? What is it a picture of? ( Romans 6:1-4)

19. Matthew has presented Jesus as King in Chapter 1 & 2. How does Matthew present the Lord Jesus Christ as King in chapter 3?

20. Matthew likes to let his readers know when an Old Testament prophesy has been fulfilled. What prophesy was fulfilled in Matthew 3?

Day 6

1. Would you have been attracted to a man like John the Baptist? Why or why not? What kind of preacher are you attracted to?

2. Have you ever had one of your parents brag about you to others and say how much they love you and are proud of you? How does it feel to have someone do that about you? Do you do that about your children? Have you ever commissioned a child to a ministry? (eg. Teaching Sunday School, or VBS, etc)

3. Have you repented from your sins and turned to God or are you trusting in your works and self-righteousness to save you?

4. Have you been baptized? If so, why did you get baptized? If not, why not or do you think you need to do so?

5. We are told we could become greater than John. Do you believe this? Are you experiencing this? .

Considering what made John the Baptist great, do you think God considers you great?

6. We found out what John the Baptist's mission in life was. Has God given you a mission? If so, what is it? Do you ever get distracted from your mission or discouraged? Do you think John the Baptist was ever discouraged when people didn't repent or show fruits of repentance?

7. Do you ever find yourself in any way being like a Pharisee or Sadducee? If so, what does a person need to do?

8. What has been meaningful to you from your study of Matthew 3? What specifically could you apply to your life?