He Qi, "Baptism of Jesus." Used by permission.
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Jesus' Baptism: Matthew
Matthew 3:1-17 Commentary
by Jeannine K. Brown
Anticipating a big event is often half the fun.
There can be something deeply satisfying about getting ready for an important visit, a significant holiday, or a major milestone. John the Baptist has a significant role in the Gospels because he anticipates Jesus. In this Matthew text, we hear how John prepares the Jewish people for the arrival of the kingdom and its king. And we see here a brief but momentous interaction between John and Jesus before Matthew turns to Jesus’ public ministry (4:17-16:21).
As we turn to Matthew 3 from Matthew 1-2, we transverse about three decades in the storyline of the Gospel -- from Jesus’ infancy (1:18-2:23) to the time just prior to his public debut (4:12-17). Matthew 3 begins by introducing us to John the Baptist, who comes into the area of the Judean wilderness with a preaching ministry focused on calling Israel to repentance in light of the arriving “kingdom of heaven” (3:1-2). This is the first reference to “the kingdom” (basileia) in Matthew.
Kingdom language ...
| Bible Text
2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 344: Jesus' Baptism: Matthew
January 13, 2019
Podcast on Matthew 3:1-17, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Jan. 13, 2019 (Jesus' Baptism) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.