Matthew Chapter 3

John the Baptist prepares the way

1 In the course of time John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea and began to proclaim his message,

2 ¡°Change your ways, the Kingdom of heaven is now at hand!¡±

3 It was about him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said, A voice is shouting in the desert: prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight.

4 John had a leather garment around his waist and wore a cloak of camel¡¯s hair; his food was locusts and wild honey.

5 People came to him from Jerusalem, from all Judea and from the whole Jordan valley,

6 and they were baptized by him in the Jordan as they confessed their sins.

7 When he saw several Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he baptized, he said to them, ¡°Brood of vipers! Who told you that you could escape the punishment that is to come?

8 Let it be seen that you are serious in your con version,

9 and do not think: We have Abraham for our father. I tell you that God can raise children for Abraham from these stones!

10 The axe is already laid to the roots of the trees; any tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown in the fire.

11 I baptize you in water for a change of heart, but the one who is coming after me is more powerful than me; indeed I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 He has the winnowing fan in his hand and he will clear out his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn in everlasting fire.¡±

Jesus baptized by John

13 At that time Jesus arrived from Galilee and came to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him.

14 But John tried to prevent him, and said, ¡°How is it you come to me: I should be baptized by you!¡±

15 But Jesus answered him, ¡°Let it be like that for now that we may fulfill the right order.¡± John agreed.

16 As soon as he was baptized, Jesus came up from the water. At once, the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God come down like a dove and rest upon him.

17 At the same time a voice from heaven was heard, ¡°This is my Son, the Beloved; he is my Chosen One.¡±


Comments Mathew, Chapter 3

• 3.1 We have just said that the real beginning of the Gospel is the preaching of John the Baptist. Here Matthew compares Jesus with John, John¡¯s baptism with that of Jesus. See commentaries on Mk 1:1 and Lk 3.

• 13. In this baptism Jesus identifies himself with his people, more precisely with this world of ¡°unti tled¡± people who went to hear a call to conversion. For him it is an occasion of deep religious experience recalling that of the great prophets. What the voice says gives Jesus his mission. He will be Son and Servant of the Father (Ps 2 and Is 42:1).