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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Matthew 3

Verses 1-17

Here ends the old prophetic line, John being the last of the Hebrew prophets. It found a fitting end in the stem ascetic who roused the nation and with vehement passion denounced their rebellion, and announced the King in the words, "Repent ye, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." The herald graphically proclaimed the nature of the King's work. Scattering and destructive, witness the fan and the fire. Purifying and constructive, witness the cleansing and the gathering. What a thrill must have passed through the Baptist as he laid his hands on Jesus for that baptism which numbered Him with transgressors and indicated His choice of that identification, with the death it involved. Surely John's consciousness of sin gave rise to the protest, "I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?"

The King now comes forth from the seclusion of the life at Nazareth, where He had lived wholly within the will of God. His first public act was obedience to the voice of God as it speaks to His nation, and He is baptized "to fulfil all righteousness." Thus He recognized social responsibility, and graciously identified Himself with the needs of His people. The opening heavens and the divine voice immediately followed. In Psa 2:7-11 is written the great prophecy. By the divine proclamation at the baptism God announced the presence of the King, and set the seal of His approval on the years already lived. The kingly character creates the kingly capacity.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Matthew 3". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/matthew-3.html. 1857-84.