Matthew Lesson 3 Day 2

Matthew Lesson 3 Day 2, Matthew Lesson 3 Day 3, Matthew Lesson 3 day 4, Matthew Lesson 3 Day 5

Matthew Lesson 3 Day 2

Matthew 3:1-4

John the baptizer prepared the way for the Lord with the same spirit and power that Elijah had.

3a) Fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” Malachi 4:5-6

Before John was conceived, the angel of the Lord prophesied this passage to Zechariah—

and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.” Luke 1:17 (emphasis added)

John the baptizer applied the verse to himself.

He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:23

The following verse describes Elijah.

They answered him, ‘He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.’ And he said, ‘It is Elijah the Tishbite.'” 2 Kings 1:8

John the baptizer dressed and ate like Elijah.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.” Mark 1:6

Bold like Elijah who denounced the wicked Ahab and Jezebel

John preached a message of rebuke.

For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Matthew 14:3-4

“Both Elijah and John had stern ministries in which austere garb and diet confirmed their message and condemned the idolatry of physical and spiritual softness.” (Carson)1

Like Elijah, John seemed to get discouraged.

When he was in prison, he sent his disciples to ask Jesus a question. (see Matthew 11:2-10)

“Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Jesus addressed the crowds concerning John—

“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,

“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way before you.’

Elijah went through a similar time of discouragement some scholars describe as depression after Jezebel sent a messenger to him with a threatening message.

Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” (1 Kings 19:3-4)

Peter, James, and John saw Moses and Elijah talking with the transfigured Jesus.

And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, ‘Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.’ And the disciples asked him, ‘Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?’ He answered, ‘Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.” Matthew 17:9-13

Interestingly, the Jews believe Elisha was actually coming, not just figuratively. He did actually die, so they assumed he could. So is it possible, John the Baptist was actually Elijah? Scripture says he was filled with the Spirit from his while still in Elizabeth’s womb.

b) John the Baptizer fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy.

In Matthew 3:3, Matthew quotes from Isaiah 40:1-5—

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”

John the baptizer applied this verse to himself.

He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:23

“Men’s hearts were like a wilderness, wherein there is no way; but as loyal subjects throw up roads for the approach of beloved princes, so were men to welcome the Lord, with their hearts made right and ready to receive him.” (Spurgeon)

In Isaiah 40:3 the way of Yahweh is prepared and made straight; in Matthew 3:3 it is the way of Jesus. This identification of Jesus with Yahweh is common in the New Testament (as in Exodus 13:21 and 1 Corinthians 10:4; Isaiah 6:1 and John 12:41).

4) God’s great plans and purposes

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. (1 Peter 1:20-21 emphasis added)

5a) He who began a good work in me

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6 NOG)

My parents were active in church from the time I was born, and went to seminary when I was in first grade and then served in full-time ministry. I received good Bible training, experienced revivals, and share their zeal for God.

b) Preparing the way

  • Do whatever the Lord tells me to do.
  • Love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
  • Love others as I love myself.
  • Make disciples.

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RESOURCES

1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 3 Day 2