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3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, 4 make his paths straight." And the same John had his raiment of camels' hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts 5 and wild honey.* Then went out to him the people of Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the 6 country about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan,† confessing their sins.‡
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned 8 you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore the proper fruits of repentance :) 9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up 10 children unto Abraham. And now also the
* In his costume and manner of living, as well as in his exhortations, John was like the ancient Jewish prophet Elijah. He came, indeed, in the power and spirit of that holy man, and announced to the degenerate Jews the approach of the Messiah's reign. But they were so worldly and carnal in their views, that they mistook his character, and rejected his doctrines.
↑ The word translated in, may be rendered at or by. This baptism was a sign of repentance, and preparatory to the gospel dispensation, and not appropriately the Christian baptism.
To prove your repentance sincere.
The Jews boasted of being the descendants of Abraham, and thought themselves in no need of instruction or improvement.
That is, God is able now to raise up as great and good men as Abraham was.
ax is laid unto the root of the trees; therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, 11 is hewn down, and cast into the fire.* 1 indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and 12 with fire.† Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Then Jesus cometh from Galilee to Jordan 14 unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptiz15 ed of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all 16 righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up immediately from the water and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting 17 upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven,
* A time of reformation and judgment was approaching; and those who should remain unbelieving and impenitent would be destroyed.
↑ With the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, and its sanctifying influences.
To observe every ordinance of God.
This extraordinary testimony was given in favor of Christ, several other times in the course of his mission. This voice from heaven the Jews called Bath Co!, and is mentioned by their Rabbis as one mode of communication from God to man.
saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
THEN Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness,* to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty 3 nights, he was afterward hungry. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be 4 made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the 5 mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him
up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pin6 nacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy 7 foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It
is written again, Thou shall not tempt the 8 Lord thy God. Again the devil taketh him
up into an exceedingly high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, 9 and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt 10 fall down and worship me. Then Jesus saith Satan: for it is
unto him, Get thee hence,
That is, solitary and retired places.
written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy 11 God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministered unto him.*
12 Now, when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in
Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon, and Nephthalim:† 14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken 15 by Isaiah the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gen16 tiles: The people which sat in darkness, saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.+
Some crities suppose, that by this account is to be understood no more than this, that Christ was under strong temptations to exert his miraculous ability for his own pleasure and honor, and to direct his supernatural power to the purposes of ambition and wealth, &c. but that he resisted every suggestion of this kind, making it his great and constant business to do the will of GoD, and employing the power given him to the honor and glory of GoD, and the good of men :-And is not this the true meaning? Thus figuratively and allegorically, probably, we are to understand the account of Adam's and Job's temptations.
In the distant parts of Judea, bordering on the territory of heathens, where the people were more ignorant than in other parts of the holy land.
Daniel prophesied of a new kingdom, a new dispensation of religion; and the Jews were at this time expecting the Messiah.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren (Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother) casting a net into the sea: 19 for they were fishermen. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers 20 of men. And they straightway left their nets, 21 and followed him. And going on thence
he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets ;* 22 and he called them, and they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,† and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, 24 among the people. people. And his fame went throughout all Syria:‡ and they brought unto him all sick people who were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those who were possessed with devils, and those who were lunatics, and those who had the palsy; and he 25 healed them. And there followed him great multitudes of people, from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from the country beyond Jordan.
* James and John then were not very poor. That is, the peculiar doctrines of Christianity. #Syria borders on Judea on the north; and is sometimes used to include the whole country of Judea.
In the original, demons, by which was meant the spirits of departed men, and who were supposed to possess and afflict people. Those who were deranged in mind and melancholy were thought to be thus possessed.