John the Baptist’s Ministry
52 verses total: Matthew 3:1-17; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-20
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
18. Ministry of John the Baptist in Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-20
19. John baptizes Jesus in Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-20. This section tells us a bit about the ministry of John the Baptist, including that he was the fulfillment of a prophetic word of Isaiah about a prophet preparing the way for the Lord. We learn that it seemed everyone in Jerusalem and Judea was going out into the wilderness to hear John, who was proclaiming repentance and was baptizing people.
Note that Luke 3:11-14 is unique among the three, in the he tells various groups of people things they should do that are consistent with repentance. And Luke 3:19-20 also is unique, speaking of Herod locking up John because John reproved him.
Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-23. Jesus also came to John to be baptized. John recognized who Jesus was (the Lord), and told Jesus he was unworthy to baptize him. But Jesus insisted, and when John baptized him, the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a form that looked like a dove, and he heard God in heaven announce that Jesus is God’s beloved son, and that he was well pleased with him.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
For my favorite verse, I chose Luke 3:4, which explains the ministry of John the Baptist by quoting a prophecy from Isaiah, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight'” (ESV). I think that all true ministry is exactly this: preparing the way of the Lord. It points to Jesus, so that others can find Jesus, and so that their hearts are expectant and ready to receive Jesus when he comes into their lives. Unfortunately, much ministry has little to do with preparing hearts for Jesus.