Right click and save the pdf: Description of the Messiah part 2
Right click and save the mp3: Synopsis 014b
Synopsis 014b Description of the
Messiah part 2
[Matthew 3:11-12; Mark 1:7-8;
Luke 3:15-18] Here, we have three
different passages that vary a little in their wording and details, but they all
say basically the same thing. Let’s
look at each passage and compare and contrast them.
In Matthew 3, John is saying,
“I’m baptizing you as a sign of repentance, but he who is coming after me is
mightier than I am”. He’s going
to do much more than simply baptize as a sign of repentance, isn’t he?
How much mightier is he?
Matthew, in the Greek, says,
“He who is coming after me is stronger than I”.
Matthew, who was writing to the Jews, knows that the Jews know of the
coming Messiah, and he simply says, “He who is coming after me is stronger
It is generally accepted that
Matthew wrote his gospel to the Jews. For
one thing, he focuses on the fulfillment of the OT, quoting from it 62 times,
which is more than any other gospel writer. Matthew does not explain Jewish culture like the other
evangelists. Matthew is the only gospel writer to use the expression, “Kingdom
of the Heavens”, which was reverential to the Jews. His purpose in writing to the Jews was to show them that
Jesus of Nazareth was the expected Messiah.
Everything he wrote was to show them this.
Mark was written for the common
man. It was written in such a way
that the Hellenistic Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, and anyone who knew about
these, could be made to understand what was being written, and so there could be
no confusion. Mark uses some Latin
words, and he explains some Aramaic words that a Jew would understand, but not
others. He says, “Coming after
me, is the one who is stronger than I”. It’s
someone specific, the one, just as it is in Matthew.
But, Matthew simply says, “He who is coming after me”, and Mark says,
“There is one”. In Matthew,
they know, in Mark, he tells them.
Luke is writing to the world.
He uses big, fancy (and precise) words, and he lays out everything in
detail. He words things similarly
to Mark: “There is coming one who
is stronger than I.”
In all three cases, John
compares himself to the one of whom he is the forerunner, and declares, “he is
mightier than I am”. “You’re
impressed by me? You haven’t seen
Then, he goes on to further put
himself in the proper perspective. “I
am not worthy [competent] to bear his shoes.”
“I’m not competent to stoop and loose his shoes.”
“I’m not competent to loose his shoes.”
John puts himself in the position of the lowest of the servants.
This was the job of only the lowest servants.
In Luke, he simply loosens them. This
was done before the feet were washed. In
Mark, he stooped and loosened them. He
had to put himself in the proper position.
In Matthew, he had to go the extra step to bear them and put them away,
which was done after washing. Why
this distinction? (Jesus bore our
Then, Matthew tells us that John
said that the one who is mightier “will be baptizing you in the Holy Spirit
and in fire”. Mark simply
records, “He shall be baptizing you in the Holy Spirit”.
Luke has John saying the same thing that Matthew says:
“He will be baptizing you in the Holy Spirit and in fire.”
The order is also different: Luke says, “I am indeed baptizing you, but there’s one who is mightier than I who will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire”. Mark says, “There’s one who is coming who is mightier than I am”, with the emphasis on the Messiah, and continues with, “I am indeed baptizing you in water, but he will be baptizing you in the Holy Spirit.” Matthew begins with, “I am baptizing you in water unto repentance”, and then continues with, “The one who is coming (you know who I’m talking about), he will be baptizing you in the Holy Spirit and in fire”.
Only Matthew mentions that John
is baptizing in water unto repentance. Repent.
What does “repent” mean?
The English word “repent”,
from the Latin word “repoenitet”, simply means “to be sorry”, and that
just does not convey the full meaning of the Greek word.
John did not merely want people to be sorry, but to change their
attitudes (literally, “after mind”) and he wanted them to change the way
they acted. One of the problems is
that we do not have a single English word that reproduces the exact meaning of
the Greek word.
The Greek does have a word that means to be sorry, which is
exactly our English word “repent”, and it is used in the NT in reference to
Judas in Matthew 27:3, which says, “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when
he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty
pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders”. That’s a different Greek word, “metamelomai”, which
simply means “regret”. Judas
regretted what he had done, but it was too late to change, wasn’t it? The deed was done.
But, John was a prophet, after many years of prophetic
silence, who was bringing a message of “turn around!” That’s why the book of Matthew, which was written to the
Jews specifically, emphasizes repentance: They
knew better. To the rest of the
world, this was something new. They
didn’t need to turn back; they had never been on the right track.
back! John was echoing the same
message that the prophets of old had been preaching to Israel.
Joel 2:12 tells us, “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even
to me [return unto me] with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping,
and with mourning:” Isaiah 55:7:
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our
God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Let
him return unto the Lord. Ezekiel
33:11 says, “Say unto them, As I live,
saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the
wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye [turn back, turn back] from
your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
This is followed a few verses later by Ezekiel 33:15:
“If the wicked restore the
pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without
committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
Repent! The Jews needed to
turn back to the road of righteousness!
The symbolism of this baptism that John preached was
repentance, which of course involved an obligation to repent.
By definition, repentance does require you to repent.
Repentance requires a change in lifestyle; it requires you to stop living
the way you’re living and return to righteousness.
You’re living in sin, so stop it!
The Gentiles did not need to repent.
They had never been on the right track.
The Jews had, so their message was different.
That message does apply to us now.
In Mark, John
only talks of two baptisms: One in
water and one in the Holy Spirit. Yet
Matthew and Luke both talk of three: One
in water, one in the Holy Spirit, and one in fire.
The Jews were used to a self-imposed baptism signifying an confession of
sins, but a baptism of repentance goes a step further.
It signifies a change in attitude.
[1 Corinthians 12] What
about baptism in the Holy Spirit? What
does this mean? What is this
talking about? [1 Corinthians
12:13] When thinking about baptism,
keep in mind the one who is baptizing, the one who is being baptized, and the
element into which he is being baptized. In
Matthew 3:11, John was the baptizer, repentant sinners were the ones being
baptized, and water was the element into which they were baptized.
This is similar to Christian baptism, with which we are familiar.
Spirit baptism finds Jesus the Christ doing the
baptizing, believers being baptized, and the Holy Spirit is the element into
which they are being baptized. There
has been much confusion caused by the translation of “εν” as
“by” and not “in”. We are
all baptized into the Holy Spirit, not by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit baptizes no one. We
are all baptized. However,
Jesus the Christ baptizes all believers into the Holy Spirit; they are one body.
We are all baptized in the Holy Spirit into one
permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every believer did not occur in the
OT, as it does now. Even in Acts
1:5, it is a future event, but with Acts 11:15, we are told that it began at
Pentecost. It is unique to the
church age. (Acts 1:5 says, “For
John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy
Spirit not many days hence.” Acts
11:15-16 says, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost Spirit fell on
them, as on us at the beginning. Then
remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with
water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost Spirit.”)
In Acts 10, we are told that Cornelius received the Holy Spirit before he
was baptized in water.
the baptism in the Holy Spirit takes place when we are saved, Acts 5:32 tells us
we are filled
with the Holy Spirit as we obey God. It
is an ongoing action.
What is the
ministry of the Holy Spirit? [John
7:37–39; 14:15–26; 16:7–15; Romans 8:1-17 (verse 2: Spirit’s law of life)]
What is the ministry of the Holy Spirit? He teaches, he comforts, guides, glorifies the Lord, frees us
from the law of sin and death, keeps us from walking carnally, helps us mortify
the deeds of the body, [Romans 8:14-15]. [Romans
Do you want to be a son of God? I do. A while
back, we looked at five different words for “child”.
One of those words was “huios”, which is used here.
It’s a mature child or an
adult. Spiritually, it’s a person
who is spiritually where God wants him to be.”
talking about maturity and son-ship, as opposed to nativity or simply being a
child. Maturity and son-ship were
not attained at birth. Instead, it
waited until the thirtieth year. [Sort
of like a driver’s license or contract signing waits for maturity.]
we read or hear the word "adoption", we immediately think of a child
being born into a family and then that child, through a legal process, becoming
a member of another family. There
are those who teach that when we are saved we are adopted into the family of
God. This concept of adoption does
not agree with what we find in John 3:3, which says, “Jesus answered and said
unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born
again [born from above], he cannot see the kingdom of God”.
When we receive Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we are born from
above into the family of God. Being
born into the family God, means adoption is not necessary.
In Ephesians 1:5 we find the word “adoption” in context with the word
“children”. It says,
"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to
himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”.
The phrase “adoption of children” is the translation of one Greek
word, “huiothesia”. This word
is the same word that is used in Romans 8:15, and is a compound word containing
the words “huios” and “thesis”. The
word “huios” means “son”. The
word “thesis” means “to
put”, “to lay”, “to appoint”, or “to ordain”.
Not son-ship itself, but son-ship conferred.
There is not a single hint to suggest that the word “huiothesia”
means “adoption”. The word
“huiothesia” means “To appoint as a son” or “To ordain to son-ship”.
have that, and I find that quite exciting!
John said that not
only would Jesus the Christ baptize in the Holy Spirit, but He would also
baptize in fire. This will happen
at the end of the age in connection with the Judgment Seat of Christ.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells of the trial of a Christian’s works by
fire. Mark 9:49 tells us that all
Christians shall be salted with fire. Revelation
2:11 promises that the overcomer shall not be hurt (strong
double negative) of the second death (the second death is the lake of fire; Revelation 20:6,14;
21:8). Do not confuse this baptism
in fire with the lake of fire, because it has to do only
The passage in Matthew 3 is written to Jews who need to turn back to the right path. They’re looking for a Messiah, but they’re looking for the wrong Messiah. The Messiah came to save, but there are many different ideas for “save”, and they were looking for the wrong one. But, he did come to save us completely: body, soul, and spirit. He came that we might have life.