Biblical Baptism – Putting Baptism Into Context Through the Gospel of Matthew

This present scripture is the first direct reference to baptism within the whole Bible. By utilising the phrase “In those days”, the Aposple Matthew is locating his writings into it’s historical situation. He is additionally recounting to his contemporaries about years that had recently gone bye, and was most probably giving his account to his readers a prolonged time following the actions that he records. To understand which days Matthew is telling his contemporaries about, we must study the preceding chapters.

In the beginning of his gospel, Matthew calls it “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 1v1). At this time Matthew states his intention – to display The Lord Jesus Christ as a genuine human being who lived at a definite time, was born to specific mother and father, and had the ministry and standing of “Christ”, the anointed Messiah or Saviour. The rest of chapter one tells us about the pedigree of Jesus, and furthermore a concise explanation of how Mary became pregnant: “she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1v18)

It is in chapter 2 that we begin to glimpse the exact events that Matthew uses to put his gospel into a chronological period. The historical events here include:
· Jesus was given birth to in Bethlehem (King David’s historical home) “in the days of Herod the king” (Matthew 2v1)
· Wise men came from the east to Jerusalem, wondering “Where is he that is born King of the Jews?” (Matthew 2v1-2)
· The wise men journeyed since, in their words, “we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2v2)
· Herod the king enquired of the wise men at what point in time the star did appear (Matthew 2v7) and found that it was up to two years beforehand (Matthew 2v16). It is probable nonetheless that he overcompensated in an effort to ensure that the baby Jesus was slaughtered, thinking that the star had in fact appeared on His conception roughly 9 months earlier.
· Herod dispatched an order with the intention of every single one of the children less than the age of two within Bethlehem along with all of it’s surrounding country will be slaughtered. This was his effort in order to make certain that specifically a single baby, Jesus, was also slaughtered. (Matthew 2v16)
· After the visit of the wise men, Joseph took Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt in a rush, as he had been warned regarding King Herod’s plans via an angel. (Matthew 2v13-14)
· Whilst the family had been in Egypt, King Herod died and Joseph was told to return to Israel along with “the young child”. (Matthew 2v19-20)
· When King Herod was dead, his son Archelaus ruled Judaea instead. (Matthew 2v22)

Plainly, Matthew locates the events during the time of Jesus inside the context of who was king of Judaea, along with a number of of the things that they had ordered. This would most likely put the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ to within a small number of days or weeks from the order that Herod the king had given to have him in addition to all additional children living in and in the region of Bethlehem killed. It is likely that several of Matthew’s readers had lost a baby, brother or sister in this point and possibly will connect the report of Matthew straight to situations in their particular families. It was into these period in their past that John the Baptist had appeared, preaching as well as baptising.

John the Baptist was not teaching in the temple or synagogues, but in the backwoods. Maybe he was unwelcome in the temple for specific crimes – the most likely cause was the message that he produced. To get more confirmation of this, notice also v7 3.

Let’s see the message that he taught, as established within a few verses that go after the current one:

· Repentance was commanded to each and every one (v2)
· The “kingdom of heaven” was at hand – about to be exposed (v2)
· John the Baptist appreciated his own office having the function of preparing the way intended for the ministry of the Jesus, sowing the land, getting everything ready, and making His route a small amount less difficult. (v3)

Obviously, well from the start of the biblical account about baptism, repentance from sinful behavior was entwined in the teaching of baptism. This communication of repentance and baptism was preparing every individual that heard the teaching for the coming ministry of the Lord Jesus.

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