A Study of Matthew’s Gospel (3:1-17)

I. Johnny on the Spot

John & the religious (3:1-12)

  1. In verses 1-7 people are coming to John to be
    baptized. The assumption is that he baptizes these people without hesitation
    until the religious leaders show up, and then he interrogates them about why
    they came to be baptized. What does he require from them as proof of
    their contrition?
  2. John insists that the religious give him some
    sort of evidence that they are really repentant and he tells them not to rest
    on their heritage or nationality. Does John’s statement here suggest to his
    audience that this is the mentality of the entire Jewish nation, that because
    they are Jewish they have access to the kingdom of heaven?
  3. John gives the first apocalyptic sermon in this
    gospel. From what we read in verses 8-12, how can or does this help our
    understanding of hell and judgment?

John & the Righteous (3:13-17)

  1. As a result of John calling everyone to
    repentance and to be baptized, Jesus also comes to be baptized by John. Notice
    that there is a difference between everyone who comes to be baptized and when
    Jesus comes to be baptized. What is different between the two? Why are
    the Jews answering John’s call? Why is Jesus answering John’s call?
  2. Why is it important that Jesus was not baptized
    for the same reason(s) as the rest of Jerusalem?

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