WEEK 23 : “Yochanan’s Prophecy of the Coming Messiah”

1. SCRIPTURE

Matt. 3:11,12; Mark 1:7,8; Luke 3:15-18

Lk. 3:15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about Yochanan, whether he was the Messiah or not.
Lk. 3:16a Yochanan answered, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (Mt. 3:11a; Mk. 1:7)
Lk. 3:16b “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Mt. 3:11b; Mk. 1:8)
Lk. 3:17 “His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Mt. 3:12)
Lk. 3:18 And with exhortations he preached to the people.

Luke 3:15-18 (NKJV) Other versions ...


2. COMMENTARY

Lk. 3:15: This verse speaks of the expectation of the people. When they came to hear Yochanan they fully expected to see the long awaited Messiah. History records that in the period shortly before and for a brief time after the first century C.E. the Messianic expectation had reached its greatest peak. The prophet Daniel, over 400 years before the time of Yeshua, had foretold that the Messiah would appear in the midst of the fourth kingdom from the time of his prophecy. The Messiah, according to Daniel 7, would then establish His own Kingdom that would be without end. From the days of Daniel four kingdoms had successfully risen on the earth. They were Babylon, Medea-Persia, Greek, and Roman empires. In another prophecy (Dan. 9:24-27), Daniel had foretold the time of the Messiah’s coming as being approximately 400 years after the return of Nehemiah and Ezra. That time was here.

Lk. 3:16a: When we look at the phrase “baptize with fire,” most people think Yeshua is talking about the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We associate this with the “cloven tongues of fire” on the Day of Shavuoth (Pentecost). But the fire being spoken of here by Yochanan is the fire of judgment. People are going to be judged according to how they respond to the words of Yeshua. The consequences for those who ignore His words will be terrible.

Lk. 3:17: The colorful images of judgment in the minds of the Hebrew prophets and apocalyptists are prominent in the words of Yochanan recorded in the Gospels. The wicked would be burned in the fires of punishment and the righteous would be baptized with the divine favor of the Holy Spirit. The grace of God would be demonstrated to the people looking for His supernatural intervention. They must return to the Lord with a sincere heart. The lifestyle they pursue must change. They must follow a new righteous way of living.

3. DISCUSSIONS

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