A voice cries out in the desert: “Clear a way for the LORD.” Matthew 31-3.

Matthew chapter three opens with a fast-forward of about 25 years.

The headline from the Berean Study Bible (and most of them say the same thing) reads:

“John the Baptist Prepares the Way”

And in those days John the Immerser comes, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea,”
(Matthew 3:1 LSV)

FYI: The LSV = The Literal Standard Version of The Holy Bible is a registered copyright of Covenant Press and the Covenant Christian Coalition (© 2020).

I don’t know if the LSV carries any extra importance, but I like to check to see if it offers some insight that others may have missed. Immediately I am delighted because of the emphasis on John being the Immerser. This word can be substituted with baptizer; however, it is what he did, not who he was, a Baptist. Amir Tsarfati told the story of a person approaching him after a tour lecture and asked, so, was Jesus Catholic or Protestant? One part of the obvious is that there were no church affiliations as there was no church as yet. If you insist that John was such and such, then he was more of an evangelist who called the nation and Herod (who was half-Jewish by blood) to repentance.

In the series “The Chosen,” John (the immerser) is portrayed as someone a bit unusual, to say the least. He has a classic, Jewish, sarcastic sense of humor, and if you think about the comments he made to the Pharisaical crowd that came to be baptized by him, he called them vipers – a bit of a harsh jab. Our introduction to John has him jumping out from behind a bush as his cousin, Yeshua, and a couple of the disciples walk by. Jesus smiled and was glad to see John. Philip was one of those disciples from John’s team and threw his arms around John’s neck, demonstrating how loved he was. Several episodes convey to us how attached Andrew was to John. (When talking about the disciples, you can begin to see where making a distinction as to which John you are referring to can come in handy.)

Pay attention to where John is immersing, Judea, which was, at one time, the Southern and separate kingdom from Israel to the North. The wilderness of Judah runs North to South and parallels the Dead Sea. 

The point is that I have no idea how Jesus and John got together, for, as you can see, there are close to 90 kilometers or 70 miles between the two.

“Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 3:2 TLV)

He was referencing Jesus, the Son of God, and, by the way, the Messiah. 

Almost all of Israel looked for and longed for the Messiah, as He would free them from the bondage of the Romans. Well, that was not going to happen.

Matthew describes John the baptizer as the one crying out. However, the designation “crying in the wilderness” certainly makes it sound pessimistic.

I started this blog almost twenty years ago, and that is what I named it, The voice of one crying in the wilderness. Experience has taught me that few listen, and I am not just talking about listening to me; they don’t listen to God either. So the idea of a wilderness speaks to me of the barrenness of our souls without the Word of God being poured into them. You would be foolish if you are willing to depend on someone else doing the pouring; this has to be you.

This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct).” [Isa. 40:3.]
(Matthew 3:3 AMP)

I have used the Amplified as they frequently give you the related passage. It is Matthew who gives us this.

And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come.” (Matthew 11:14 NASB)

So, allow me a moment here. Elijah was lifted off this earth without dying, and scripture tells us that:

… it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment “ (Hebrews 9:27 NASB)

Well, when did Elijah get his turn?

I do not know, and I will not accept the idea that he was reincarnated as John the baptizer. Just the fact that Jesus refers to Elijah in terms of coming back merely promotes the idea that Elijah did not die and must yet die. Consider the fact the two witnesses, who come from God, stand in the streets of Jerusalem witnessing about Jesus as the Messiah and the glory of God, will die after their time is done (3.5 years.) But, after lying dead in the street for three days, they will rise again and return to the Lord.

Appointed is the Greek word apokeimai and means reserved or awaited.

I will let you in on a little-known fact. There is nothing that will prevent this body from dying. The body, which carries the broken DNA chain that motivates us to sin, has to be purified. A passage that almost everyone has heard at least once tells us that our works will be tried by fire; this is probably part of the bema seat judgment and where the body will die.

You are aware that Jesus died? Right! Then you should also be mindful that He came back to life and continued to walk this earth for forty more days, sharing the good news.

This entry was posted in baptize, bible study, Isaiah, judgment, Matthew's gospel, Prophetic, return to the Lord, wilderness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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