Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Mt. 3; Mk. 1:1-11; Lk. 3:1-22; Jn. 1:6-34


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Matthew Chapter Three

  1. John the Baptist undertook a wilderness preaching ministry as the Herald of the Christ (Matt. 3:1-6).
    1. His proclamation: “repent” (change your thinking) “for the Kingdom of Heaven has drawn near” (Matt. 3:2).
    2. John’s clothing and diet were reminiscent of Elijah (Matt. 3:4; 11:8; 2nd Kgs. 1:8).
    3. John enjoyed unparalleled response to his preaching, as great multitudes came out of Jerusalem, Judea and the Jordan region in order to be baptized (Matt. 3:5-6).
      1. Judaism’s baptism ritual of Gentile proselytes likely followed 70AD and bears no influence upon John’s baptism.
      2. The Qumran records of the Essenes do precede John’s activity, but their rites bear little resemblance to John’s mission.
  2. When the religious/political leaders came to participate in the baptism ritual, John confronted them like Elijah before the prophets of Baal (Matt. 3:7-10).
  3. John understood that his ministry was temporary, and the One Who was Coming would perform a greater baptism (Matt. 3:11-12; Mal. 3:2-3; Joel 2:28-29).
  4. The Herald fulfilled his purpose when the Christ appeared (Matt. 3:13-17).
    1. Jesus Christ was sinless and perfect.  He had no need to be baptized as a visible sign of His repentance.  He did so anyway, in order to identify with His brethren (Isa. 53:12).
    2. The Holy Spirit and God the Father testified to His Sonship (Matt. 3:16-17; Isa. 42:1).

Mark Chapter One

  1. Mark skips the genealogy and begins his “good news” message with Isaiah’s predicted messenger—John the Baptist (Mk. 1:1-8).
  2. Mark covers the baptism of Christ in three verses (Matthew took five), and the wilderness temptation in two short verses (compared to Matthew’s 11, and Luke’s 13 verses).
    1. “Moving right along” Mark employs the adverb εὐθύς euthus #2117 “immediately” 42 times in his 16 chapters.
    2. Mark also includes a number of vivid terms in describing the gospel activities—such as being “impelled” by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, and the wild beasts He faced there.

(Chapter One continues tomorrow)

Luke Chapter Three

  1. The commencement of the ministry of John the Baptist is pinpointed by Luke (Lk. 3:1-2).
    1. The 15th year of Tiberius Caesar was 29AD.  Tiberius reigned from 14-37AD.
    2. Pontius Pilate was Governor from 26-36AD.
    3. Herod the Tetrarch (son of Herod the Great) a.k.a. Herod Antipas ruled Galilee 4BC-39AD.
    4. Lysanias, ruled Abilene (NW of Damascus).  His dating is uncertain, as is the significance of his relationship to the territory of Israel.  More likely, Lysanias has more significance to Luke and Theophilus. 
    5. The High Priesthood was vested in two men—Annas & Caiaphas.
      1. Annas was High Priest from 6-15AD, but was removed from that office by the Romans.
      2. His son-in-law Caiaphas was appointed to that office 18-36AD.
      3. The Jews continued to recognize Annas as the rightful High Priest, even after Caiaphas held the official title.
  2. John the Baptist undertook a ministry of national rebuke to Israel in preparation for the arrival of their Messiah (Lk. 3:3-20).
    1. His ministry was not primarily one of evangelizing unbelievers, but rebuking believers.
    2. This fulfilled his prophesied role in preparing Israel for the arrival of Christ’s Kingdom of Righteousness (Lk. 1:16-17; Isa. 40:3-5).
      Note: Elijah will fulfill this role for Christ’s Second Advent (Mal. 4:5-6; Matt. 17:10-13).
    3. When unbelievers (brood of vipers, sons of the Devil, Jn. 8:44) came out for the water baptism ritual, John rebuked them as having no part in his message of warning (Lk. 3:7-8).
    4. The change of thinking repentance, and the resulting change of activity (Lk. 3:10-14) is not a pattern for the procedure of an unbeliever becoming saved.  It is a pattern for the believer who is convicted by the doctrine of Imminency.
    5. e. The result of the Baptist’s ministry is that the Jews were confused, and Herod was enraged (Lk. 3:15-20).

(Chapter Three continues on Day 275)

John Chapter One

(Outline continues from Day 275)

  1. John summarizes the entire gospel as the witness to the Light followed by the Light (Jn. 1:6-13).
    1. a. A faithful witness to the Light is designed to produce faith in the Light (vv.6-8).
    2. b. Jesus Christ is the true Light, which provides for the universal offer of salvation (vv.9-13).
  2. John summarized the work-assignment of the Word (Jn. 1:14-18).
    1. “The Word became flesh” indicates the kenosis of Jesus Christ (Phil. 2:5) to come and identify with our weakness (v.14a). Note carefully: this is Incarnation (a body prepared for me Heb. 10:5) and a different doctrine than Hypostatic Union.
    2. The fullness of His ministry was not the condemnation of the Law, but the freedom of grace and truth (v.14b,17).
    3. The Lord taught and explained grace and truth through the revelation of God the Father (v.18).  The exegesis of God the Father explains the Paterological nature of John’s Gospel—particularly the revelation of God the Father to the world (Jn. 212) and the explanation of God the Father to the Apostles (Jn. 13-17).
  3. John the Baptist continually exalted the Coming One, and denied any greatness for himself (Jn. 1:19-34; 3:22-36).

(Chapter One continues tomorrow)