Rev. Luke Zimmerman, pastor at Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mechanicsburg, PA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Matthew 3:1-12.
Matthew seamlessly skips forward almost thirty years from Jesus’ return to Nazareth to the ministry of John the Baptist. This fiery preacher comes as the fulfillment of God’s Word written by the prophet Isaiah. John’s sermon is simple: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” God is reigning in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The only way to live under this reign is in repentance and faith, turning from sin and its ways to Christ and His salvation. John proclaimed this truth as Elijah had before him. Those who heard and believed came to his baptism confessing their sins. However, the Pharisees and Sadducees, as the religious elite of the day, came with a false confidence in their family history. John calls even them to task with harsh words of Law. Judgment will come upon all who do not repent. Yet John does not leave his hearers without the Gospel. He points to the One who comes after Him as the Savior. For his preaching of repentance and faith, John remains a preacher just as needed today as he was then.
“All Righteousness Fulfilled” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that digs into the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The first evangelist proclaims Jesus to Jews and Gentiles alike as the fulfillment of God’s saving words and acts throughout the Old Testament. As the Christ in the line of David and Abraham, Jesus is the promised King who comes to bring sinners from every nation to live under His gracious reign.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”[a] 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare[b] the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
- Matthew 3:2 Or the kingdom of heaven has come near
- Matthew 3:3 Or crying: Prepare in the wilderness
English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.