Matthew – God’s Purpose
As a growing fetus in the womb of Elizabeth, John knew what God wanted him to be and to do. John was given a discerning spirit by God from conception. John was destined by God with a very specific purpose. When Mary, mother of Jesus, with her own growing fetus, came to Elizabeth, John literally leaped in Elizabeth’s belly. There was a “knowing” from the very beginning. They parted ways after the birth of John. John was raised under the mentoring of Zachariah and Elizabeth to be devout, set apart and holy unto God.
He began to preach a message in ways that no one else was preaching and teaching. He separated himself from the traditions of all other prophets and priests. He did not wear glorious, pious robes of importance as was the custom and attire of the day. God gave him a very specific message to preach to God’s people. That message was, “REPENT, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” You must stop doing religion in your own power for your own selfish gain and begin a new, holy, authentic relationship with the ONE who is coming. That ONE coming IS the Kingdom of Heaven. He IS the King of kings. He is the Savior of the world.
John knew God. He knew his message (from God) well. He knew his audience. He preached passionately and reverently. His stayed focused and delivered God’s message with clarity so that all could understand each word. Repent. CHANGE your thinking and ways to align with God. The Kingdom of Heaven (Jesus) is coming. My work by God is to point you to the ONE. Jesus.
THEN JESUS CAME…to be baptized by John, the announcer of His coming. Oh how humbled John was by this act of obedience. How blessed John must have felt to have the honor to baptize the One and Only Son of God who would save the lost and bring us back to God in a holy relationship once more!
JESUS changes everything! John work was complete in Jesus’ coming. The focus now shifts to Jesus, in whom God is “well pleased”. God’s purpose marches on.
Matthew 3, NKJV
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.’ ”
4 Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him 6 and were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 and do not think to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit [a]and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
John Baptizes Jesus
13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”
15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and [b]He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Dear Heavenly Father,
Oh, how we love to read how you came to earth to save us, to show us in human form the full extent of your love for us through Jesus Christ. Thank you for John’s mission to announce your arrival to earth! I will meditate with gladness and pure joy on this thought all day long. Thank you for saving us. Thank you for the intimate relationship with You that grows sweeter each day we live for you.
In Jesus Name, Amen.