(Matthew 3) – The ministry of John the Baptist
One of the most essential parts of the Messiah’s entrance into human history was his foretold forerunner.
Isaiah and Malachi speak of this person clearing the way for the Lord to minister, coming in the spirit and power of Elijah.
This forerunner was indeed John the Baptist. Luke’s Gospel account gives us greater insight into the details surrounding his special birth.
His message was one of repentance from sin and the wrath to come. He preached about the coming kingdom.
By all accounts, the impression of the Jewish people seems to be that the Messiah was only coming once, and that that coming would usher in the Jewish Kingdom promised centuries before.
John baptized with water as a way of giving people an opportunity to identify with his message. It wasn’t saying that they were saved, but that they agreed with John.
This is why Jesus was compelled to be baptized by John.
Even though John knew he was unworthy, he obeyed Christ because He (Jesus) wanted everyone to know that He agreed and identified with John’s message.
And following his baptism, God the Father shows His approval of both John and Jesus.
The stage was set for Jesus’ ministry…an official forerunner, a divine display of approval, and the attention of the people of Israel.
The kingdom of God is at hand!
Long live the King!