(From: MATTHEW #3 - 3:1-17)
VIII. 3:1-4:16 PREPARATION FOR JESUS' MINISTRY
A. 3:1-17 JOHN THE BAPTIST HUMBLY MINISTERS TO PEOPLE AND JESUS
1. 3:1-12 JOHN PREPARES FOR JESUS WITH A REPENTANCE MESSAGE
a. 3::1-2 JOHN PREPARES FOR THE KINGDOM BY REPENTANCE
En de tais heMErais eKEInais pa-raGIne-tai IoAnes ho bap-tiSTES 
And in those :days comes John the Baptist
keRUSson en te eREmotes IouDAIas,
preaching in the wilderness of :Judea,
LEgon Me-ta-noEIte , EGgi-ken gar heba-siLEIa ton ou-raNON.
2saying Repent ye, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand.
b. 3:3 PROPHETIC PREVIEW OF JOHN'S MINISTRY
HOUtos GAR es-tin ho 'reTHEIS diA E-SAIou tou proPHEtou , LEgon-tos,
For this is he spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying,
PhoNEboONtos en te eREmo,
A voice of one crying in the wilderness,
He-toiMAsa-te  ten hoDON KuRIou, euTHEIas poiEIte tas TRIbous auTOU.
Make ye ready the way of the Lord, Make his :paths straight.
c. 3:4 JOHN'S FOOD AND CLOTHING
auTOS de ho IoAnes EIchen to ENdu-ma auTOU aPO triCHON kaMElou ,
Now :John himself had his :clothing of camel's hair,
kai ZOnen der-maTInen peRI ten osPHUN auTOU;
and a leather girdle about his :loin;
hede troPHE en auTOU aKRIdes kai MEli Agri-on .
and his :food was locusts and wild honey.
d. 3:5-6 JOHN'S BAPTISM AT JORDAN
TOte e-xe-poREUe-to pros auTON Ie-roSOlu-ma kai PAsa heIouDAIa
Then went out unto him Jerusalem and all :Judea
kai PAsa hepeRIcho-ros tou IorDAnou; kai e-bapTIzon-to en toIorDAne
and all the region about the Jordan; 6and they were baptized of him
po-taMOhup' auTOU e-xo-mo-loGOUme-noi tas ha-marTIas auTON.
in the river Jordan confessing their sins.
e. 3:7 JOHN FEARLESSLY REBUKES HYPOCRISY
iDON de polLOUS ton Pha-riSAIon kai Sad-douKAIon 
And seeing many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
er-choMEnous ePI to BAPtis-ma , EIpen auTOIS, GenNEma-ta e-chidNON ,
coming to the baptism, he said to them, Offspring of vipers,
tis huPEdei-xen  huMIN phuGEIN  aPO tes melLOUses orGES ?
who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
f. 3:8-9 EITHER FRUIT OF REPENTANCE - OR A NEW GENERATION
poiEsa-te oun karPON Axi-on tes me-taNOIas ;
Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of :repentance;
kai meDOxe-te LEgein en he-auTOIS, PaTEre Echo-men ton A-braAM,
9and think not to say within yourselves, We have :Abraham for ourfather,
LEgogar huMIN HOti DUna-tai ho TheOS ek ton LIthon TOUton eGEIrai TEKna toA-braAM.
for I say unto you that :God can of these :stones raise up children to :Abraham.
g. 3:10 IF NO FRUIT OF REPENTANCE - THEN A CUTTING OFF
Edede he aXInepros ten 'RIzan ton DENdron KEItai :
And already is the axe lying at the root of the trees:
pan oun DENdron mepoiOUN karPON kaLON ekKOPte-tai kai eis pur BALle-tai.
every tree therefore that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.
h. 3:11-12 THE ESSENTIAL MINISTRY OF JESUS FORETOLD
eGOmen huMAS bapTIzoen HUda-ti eis meTAnoi-an:
I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance:
ho de oPIsomou erCHOme-nos is-chuROteROS mou esTIN:
but who comes after me is mightier than I:
hou ouk eiMI hi-kaNOS  ta hu-poDEma-ta baSTAsai :
whose :shoes I am not fit to bear:
auTOS huMAS bapTIsei en PNEUma-ti HaGIokai puRI :
HE shall baptize you in theHoly Spirit and fire:
hou to PTUon  en te cheiRI auTOU, kai di-a-ka-tha-riEI ten Alo-na auTOU
12whose :fan is in his :hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing :floor
kai suNAxei ton SIton  auTOU eis ten a-poTHEken ,
and gather his :grain into the garner,
to de Achu-ron ka-taKAUsei puRI asBEsto .
but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.
2. 3:13-17 THE DOUBLE BAPTISM FOR JESUS
a. 3:13 JESUS PRESENTS HIMSELF FOR BAPTISM
TOte pa-raGIne-tai ho IeSOUS aPO te Ga-liLAIas ePI ton IorDAnen
Then comes :Jesus from :Galilee to the Jordan
pros ton IoAnen tou bap-tisTHEnai hup' auTOU.
unto :John to be baptized of him.
b. 3:14 JOHN REFRAINS FROM BAPTIZING HIM
ho de di-eKOlu-en auTON, LEgon,
But he would fain hinder him, saying,
E-GOCHREIan Echo huPO sou bap-tisTHEnai, kai su ERche PROS me?
I have need to be baptized of you, and YOU come unto me?
c. 3:15a FULFILLING ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS
a-po-kriTHEIS de ho IeSOUS EIpen auTO, Aphes ARti:
But :Jesus answered andsaid to him, Suffer menow:
HOUtogar PREpon esTIN heMIN pleROsai PAsan di-kai-oSUnen .
for thus it becomes us to fulfill all righteousness.
d. 3:15b Then he suffers him. TOte aPHIe-sin auTON.
e. 3:16-17 THE HEAVENS OPENED
bap-tisTHEIS de ho IeSOUS, euTHUS eNEbe  aPO tou HUda-tos:
And :Jesus, whenbaptized, went up straightway from the water:
kai iDOU, e-neOCHthe-san  hoi ou-raNOI, kai EIden
and lo, the heavens were open, and he saw
PNEUma TheOU ka-taBAInon  hoSEI pe-ri-steRAN  erCHOme-non ep' auTON;
God's Spirit descending as if a dove coming upon him;
kai iDOU, phoNE ek ton ou-raNON LEgou-sa,
17and lo, a voice out of the heavens saying,
HOU-TOS es-tin ho huiOS  mou ho a-ga-peTOS  en ho euDOke-sa .
This is my :son the beloved in whom I am well pleased.
NOTE: Both John the Baptist and Jesus commenced their ministries by proclaiming the same message: Repent- for the Kingdom of the heavens is at hand! This stands in line with Acts 2:38, when Peter answered the convicted Jews on the Day of Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized each of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto remission of your :sins; and you shall receive the gift (do-reA) if the Holy Spirit.” Here the gift of the Holy Spirit is the equivalent of the Kingdom of the Heavens. Paul also confirms this insight in Romans 14:17, - “for the kingdom of :God is not eating and drinking but righteousness and peace and joy in theHoly Spirit.”
The ministry of John the Baptist is outstanding in preparation for Jesus the Son of God, the Messiah. Of all prophets in the OT, none is greater than John - yet - he that is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John. How can this be? It is because of the dividing line purchased by Jesus through His death, Resurrection, Ascension - and Giving of the Holy Spirit. The Lord now living in us by the Holy Spirit, and we living in the Lord and our Father through being baptized in Him, is a greater dispensation than that in which John lived. Weare now members of the New Covenant, in which Jesus isthat Covenant. See the two verses in Isaiah referring to Jesus as our “Covenant.”
John's message to the carnal Pharisees and Sadducees specifically refers to Jesus as the one with a greaterbaptism than John's. John baptized in water unto repentance: Jesusbaptizes us into the Holy Spirit and fire.
There are 3 baptisms, and 3 baptizers: The preacher baptizes us in water. The Holy Spirit baptizes us into the Body of Christ. Jesus baptizes us into the Holy Spirit. J. Edwin Orr says it is like a glass put under a tap in a sink with a stopper. The water fills the glass. Then as the tap continues running, the sink fills with water, and the glass in now immersed in the sink of water. Read “Rees Howells, Intercessor” by Norman P. Grubb. Rees calls this “being possessed” by the Holy Spirit. How many of today's believers truly have this type of experience? Watchman Nee called this “Normal Christianity!” One can fear from this then, that most of us have entered the “Outer Court” of God's Temple, and perhaps into the “Holy Place”. But few have entered into the spiritual equivalent of the Holy of Holies.
The water baptism of Jesus was immediately followed by a Spiritbaptism signified by the Holy Spirit as a dove descending from Heaven upon Him; thisconfirmed to John that Jesus wasthe Christ - the Messiah - the Son of God. Three times the Father from Heaven audibly commended His Son. This is the first of these three confirmations. J.A.W.