Biblical Baptism - Putting Baptism into Context from the 3rd Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.

By: Mrrrk Andrrrson

This present verse is the opening direct reference to baptism in the whole Word of God. By using the turn of phrase “In those days”, the Aposple Matthew is locating his writing into it’s chronological background. He is furthermore telling his contemporaries about time that had since passed, and was most likely writing to his readers a prolonged stretch after the actions that he notes. So that we can explore which days Matthew is telling the reader about, we have to examine the earlier chapters.

In the opening of his gospel, the author Matthew calls it “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 1v1). At this point Matthew states his goal - to show off The Lord Jesus Christ as a true person that lived at a certain time, was born to precise mother and father, and had the office and status of “Christ”, the anointed Messiah or Saviour. The remainder of chapter one talks of the lineage of Jesus, and also a brief picture of how Mary became pregnant: “she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1v18)

It is in chapter 2 that we commence to witness the detailed events that Matthew makes use of to locate his writings into a historical timeframe. The historical events shown include:
· Jesus was given birth to in Bethlehem (King David’s historical home) “in the days of Herod the king” (Matthew 2v1)
· Wise men came from the east headed for Jerusalem, asking “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2v1-2)
· The wise men came for the reason that, in their words, “we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2v2)
· King Herod enquired of the wise men at what moment in time the star had appeared (Matthew 2v7) and found that it had been nearly two years previously (Matthew 2v16). It is likely nevertheless that he overestimated in an attempt to ensure that the baby Jesus was killed, thinking that the heavenly body had actually appeared at His conception about 9 months earlier.
· Herod the king dispatched an command with the purpose of every one of the babies less than the age of two in Bethlehem and all of the surrounding rural area ought to be murdered. This was his attempt to make certain that just one newborn, the baby Jesus, was additionally killed. (Matthew 2v16)
· After the call of the wise men, Joseph transported Mary and the baby Jesus toward Egypt in a hurry, because he had been warned about King Herod's plans by an angel. (Matthew 2v13-14)
· Whilst Joseph, Mary and Jesus were in Egypt, King Herod died so Joseph was told to go back toward Israel along with “the young child”. (Matthew 2v19-20)
· When Herod the king was dead, his son Archelaus ruled Judaea in his place. (Matthew 2v22)

Noticeably, the author Matthew locates the events during the time of the Lord Jesus Christ within the situation of who was ruling Judaea, and several of their historical actions. This would most likely place the birth of the baby Jesus within a few days or weeks of the instruction that king Herod had made in order to ensure him along with any other babies in and round about Bethlehem murdered. It is possible that some of Matthew’s readers had lost a newborn, brother or sister throughout this point and possibly will link up the description of Matthew quickly to situations from their particular families. It was into these time in the reader's past that John the Baptist had come, preaching as well as baptising.

John the Baptist was not ministering within the temple or other places of worship, but in the wilderness. Possibly he was unwelcome in the temple for some reason - the most possible explanation was the teaching that he produced. To get other confirmation of this, notice additionally v7 3.

Shall we see the message that he preached, which is established within a small number of verses which come after the present one:

· Repentance was commanded to all (v2)
· The “kingdom of heaven” was at hand - just about to be exposed (v2)
· John the Baptist saw his particular office having the function of preparing the way for the ministry of the Lord, sowing the ground, getting the whole thing prepared, and making His route a small amount easier. (v3)

Obviously, precisely from the beginning of the scriptural account of baptism, repentance from sinful habits was caught up in the message of baptism. This message of repentance and baptism was laying the groundwork for each person that received the preaching for the coming ministry of the Lord Jesus.

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MJ Anderson All quotations from the Good News Bible unless otherwise indicated. MJ Anderson writes on Baptism, and has also written a book studying each of the 91 verses of scripture about baptism. The book is called "Baptism's 91 Witnesses", and further information can be found at MJ Anderson also produces custom Bumper Stickers, Sticky Labels and Food and Drink stickers through his website at Natural Thyroid Treatments and articles at Natural Thyroid Treatment dot Org and Thyroid Booster dot Net

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