Matthew 3:4
John wore a garment of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
A Man May be His MessageR. Tuck Matthew 3:4
LocustsDr. Van-Lennep., Dr. Van-Lennep., Poeocke.Matthew 3:4
The HeraldJ.A. Macdonald Matthew 3:1-4
The ForerunnerMarcus Dods Matthew 3:1-12
The Appearance of John the BaptistP.C. Barker Matthew 3:1-15

The evangelists dwell on the peculiarities of John's dress, food, and habits, as if the utmost importance attached to these, and they were an essential part of John's witness. To see the man was to apprehend his message. His peculiarities were not personal oddities, but designed ministry. How far his dress was the recognized prophet's dress cannot be decided; but it is clear that he designed to present an example of severe self-restraint as a marked contrast to the luxury and self-indulgence of that age. Illustrate by reference to Diogenes the Cynic, who testified against the gaiety and luxury of the Athenians. He limited his desires to necessities. He ate little, and what he ate was often the coarsest. His dress consisted solely of a cloak. A wallet and a huge stick completed his accoutrements. He lived in a tub. Note also the witness of the Quakers' plain garb; and the moral force of distinctive dress such as that worn by sisters of mercy, etc.

I. A MAN HIMSELF IS A POWER OF INFLUENCE. We are so constantly thinking of, and estimating, what a man does or says, that we are in danger of thinking that a man's power is exclusively his activity. Then we are likely to divorce character and work, and say, "It does not matter what a man is privately so that he does well publicly." But the fact is that the man himself does more than the man's activity. 'What he is is more important than what he does. His unconscious influence is more effective than his conscious. Here is the ministry of a man's words and works, but there is also the more searching ministry of the man himself. If John the Baptist had said nothing, he would have preached repentance by his clothes and by his food. From this impress the duty of making our dress and habits the simple expression of ourselves.

II. A MAN SHOULD CULTURE HIMSELF IN ORDER TO BE THE BEST POSSIBLE POWER OF INFLUENCE. Just this John did. He put his daily habits into severe self-restraint; reduced his clothes and food to the narrowest limits. And this because he intelligently set before himself a precise aim, and resolved to. secure fitness for accomplishing that aim. Impress the truth that a man is never his true self while he allows his personal influence to be a mere accident. Most men merely happen to influence. Noble men resolve to influence, decide how they will influence, and put themselves into holy restraints in order, to gain power. - R.T.

Raiment of camel's hair.
These insects are found at all times, and in every part of Western Asia, in Arabia, and in Northern Africa. The full-grown locusts are from two to three inches in length, and differ from the common grasshopper in their regularly elongated bodies, their reddish colour, and the length of their wings, which enable them to rise to a considerable height above the ground, and to pass over a distance of several miles, by sailing before the wind. The statement that John the Baptist's food while in the wilderness chiefly consisted of "locusts and wild honey," best describes the habitual fare of those who at the present day lead a life of isolation and poverty in the same region, and we know that the Mosaic law allowed the Hebrews to eat the locust (Leviticus 2:22). The full-grown insect is extensively eaten by the poorer classes,... particularly by the Bedawin of the desert. When the locusts come down upon the face of the earth, crowds of people go forth and collect vast numbers of them in bags, even loading horses and cattle with the booty. They are roasted and eaten as butter upon loaves of bread, resembling shrimps in taste, or they are boiled in water with a little salt, dried in the sun, and, being deprived of their wings and legs, are packed in bags for use. They are also beaten to a powder, which is mixed with flour and water, made into little cakes, and used as a substitute for bread when flour is scarce. Dried locusts are generally exposed for sale in the markets of Medina, Bagdad, and even Damascus.

(Dr. Van-Lennep.)Wild honey. — The frequent description of Palestine as a land " flowing with milk and honey," points out the fact that the honey-bee, and, as a concomitant, wild flowers too, abounded in it anciently, as at the present day. The flowers are so various in Western Asia, that the honey of different districts assumes very marked peculiarities. The honey of Kirk-Aghai, near Pergamus in Asia Minor, chiefly made of the flower of the cotton plant, it is said, so closely resembles butter in appearance, that it can only be detected by the taste. The honey of Mount Hymettus is dark and disagreeable to persons unused to it; the Athenians prefer it to any other. In some parts of Asia Minor the hives which are kept in the villages are transported at a certain season of the year to the slopes and high plains of the mountains, where the bees feed upon the blossoms of the pine and of the mountain plants. Orientals are very fond of honey, and usually eat it in the comb.

(Dr. Van-Lennep.)When the Egyptians on the Upper Nile find that their bees obtain no more honey around. their villages, they take their hives on boats, and sail down the river, stopping a"" every green spot to let the bees collect honey from the flowers on the shore; so thus by the time they reach Cairo, which is their market, their hives are full of honey.


Esaias, Isaiah, Jesus, John
Galilee, Jerusalem, Jordan River, Judea
Band, Belt, Camel's, Clothed, Clothes, Clothing, Field, Garment, Girdle, Hair, Honey, John, Leather, Leathern, Locusts, Loincloth, Loins, Meat, Nourishment, Raiment, Round, Skin, Waist, Wild, Wore
1. John preaches: his office, life, and baptism.
7. He reprimands the Pharisees,
13. and baptizes Jesus in Jordan.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Matthew 3:4

     4660   insects
     4669   locust
     5092   Elijah
     5131   belt
     5145   clothing
     5155   hair
     5794   asceticism

Matthew 3:1-6

     6029   sin, forgiveness

Matthew 3:1-12

     8168   way, the

Matthew 3:1-15

     5098   John the Baptist

Matthew 3:3-15

     5098   John the Baptist

February 14. "He Shall Baptize You with Fire" (Matt. Iii. 11).
"He shall baptize you with fire" (Matt. iii. 11). Fire is strangely intense and intrinsic. It goes into the very substance of things. It somehow blends with every particle of the thing it touches. There are the severe trials that come to minds more sensitive, to the minds that have more points of contact with what hurts; so that the higher the nature the higher the joy, and the greater the avenues of pain that come. And then there are deeper trials that come as we pass into the hands of God, as we
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Baptism in Fire
'He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.'--MATT. iii. 11 There is no more pathetic figure in Scripture than that of the forerunner of our Lord. Lonely and ascetic, charged to light against all the social order of which he was a part, seeing many of his disciples leave him for another master; then changing the free wilderness for a prison cell, and tortured by morbid doubts; finally murdered as the victim of a profligate woman's hate and a profligate man's perverse sense of honour:
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Dove of God
'He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.' MATT. iii. 16. This Gospel of Matthew is emphatically the gospel of the Kingdom. It sets forth Jesus as the long-promised Messiah, the Son of David. And this conception of Him and of His work, whilst it runs through the whole of the Gospel, is more obviously influential in shaping the selection of incidents and colouring the cast of the language, in the early portion. Hence the genealogy with which the Gospel begins dwells
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Herald of the King
'In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3. For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. 4. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Baptism of Jesus
'Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14. But John forbad Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me? 15. And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him. 16. And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: 17.
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of Heaven is at band.--MATT. iii. 2. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.--MATT. iv. 17. "Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Qentiles, that they should repent and torn to God, and do works meet for repentance."--ACTS xxvi. 19,20. In the mouths of three
Catherine Booth—Godliness

John the Baptist's Person and Preaching.
(in the Wilderness of Judæa, and on the Banks of the Jordan, Occupying Several Months, Probably a.d. 25 or 26.) ^A Matt. III. 1-12; ^B Mark I. 1-8; ^C Luke III. 1-18. ^b 1 The beginning of the gospel [John begins his Gospel from eternity, where the Word is found coexistent with God. Matthew begins with Jesus, the humanly generated son of Abraham and David, born in the days of Herod the king. Luke begins with the birth of John the Baptist, the Messiah's herald; and Mark begins with the ministry
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus Baptized by John in the Jordan.
(Jordan East of Jericho, Spring of a.d. 27.) ^A Matt. III. 13-17; ^B Mark I. 9-11; ^C Luke III. 21-23. ^b 9 And { ^a 13 Then} ^b it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came { ^a cometh} ^b from Nazareth of Galilee, ^a to the Jordan [Tradition fixes upon a ford of Jordan east of Jericho as the place where Jesus was baptized. It is the same section of the river which opened for the passage of Israel under Joshua, and later for Elijah and Elisha. This ford is seventy or eighty miles from Nazareth]
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

In the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Cæsar and under the Pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas - a Voice in the Wilderness
THERE is something grand, even awful, in the almost absolute silence which lies upon the thirty years between the Birth and the first Messianic Manifestation of Jesus. In a narrative like that of the Gospels, this must have been designed; and, if so, affords presumptive evidence of the authenticity of what follows, and is intended to teach, that what had preceded concerned only the inner History of Jesus, and the preparation of the Christ. At last that solemn silence was broken by an appearance,
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Baptism of Jesus: Its Higher Meaning.
The more we think of it, the better do we seem to understand how that Voice crying in the wilderness: Repent! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,' awakened echoes throughout the land, and brought from city, village, and hamlet strangest hearers. For once, every distinction was levelled. Pharisee and Sadducee, outcast publican and semi-heathen soldier, met here as on common ground. Their bond of union was the common hope of Israel' - the only hope that remained: that of the Kingdom.' The long winter
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit.
One of the most deeply significant phrases used in connection with the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures is "baptized with the Holy Ghost." John the Baptist was the first to use this phrase. In speaking of himself and the coming One he said, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Matt. iii. 11). The second "with" in this passage is in italics. It is
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Conversion --Human Agency In
What part and responsibility pertain to the human will in this matter? Before we leave the subject of conversion, it is important that we consider and understand this question also. For on this point also grievous and dangerous views and practices prevail. Human nature tends to extremes. Here too, there is a tendency to go too far, either in the one direction or the other. There are those, on the one hand, who virtually and practically make this change of heart and of nature a human work. They
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

The Present, a Dispensation of Means.
We have seen that the carnal, sinful nature of the child unfits it for the kingdom of heaven; that, therefore, there must be a change in that nature, even the birth of a new life, and the life of a new creature, before there can be either part or lot in the kingdom of God. We have also expressed our firm conviction that it is the good and gracious will of God in Christ to bestow upon the poor sin-sick and unholy child the Grace needed to so change it as to make it a partaker of His great salvation.
G. H. Gerberding—The Way of Salvation in the Lutheran Church

Oration on the Holy Lights.
Oration on the Holy Lights. The Oration on the Holy Lights was preached on the Festival of the Epiphany 381, and was followed the next day by that on Baptism. In the Eastern Church this Festival is regarded as more particularly the commemoration of our Lord's Baptism, and is accordingly one of the great days for the solemn ministration of the Sacrament. It is generally called Theophania, and the Gospel in the Liturgy is S. Matthew iii. 13-17. The Sunday in the Octave is called meta ta phota (After
St. Cyril of Jerusalem—Lectures of S. Cyril of Jerusalem

Power --Its Source
In vain do the inhabitants of London go to their conduits for supply unless the man who has the master-key turns the water on; and in vain do we think to quench our thirst at ordinances, unless God communicates the living water of His Spirit.--Anon. It was the custom of the Roman emperors, at their triumphal entrance, to cast new coins among the multitudes; so doth Christ, in His triumphal ascension into heaven, throw the greatest gifts for the good of men that were ever given.--T. Goodwin. To
Dwight L. Moody—Secret Power

My Beloved is White and Ruddy, the Chiefest among Ten Thousand.
My Well-beloved, replies the Spouse, is white by His purity, innocence and simplicity. He is ruddy by His charity, and because He has chosen to be dyed and purpled in His own blood. He is white by His frankness, ruddy by the fire of His love. He is chiefest among ten thousand, that is to say, He is above all I have chosen and preferred Him to every other. His Father has chosen Him above all the children of men as His Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased (Matt. iii. 17). In short, if you would know,
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

"Because I have Lived So Many Years"
Monday, 20.--We embarked between three and four in the morning, in a very small, inconvenient sloop, and not a swift sailer; [38] so that we were seven hours in sailing what is called seven leagues. About eleven we landed at St. Helier, and went straight to Mr. Brackenbury's house. It stands very pleasantly, near the end of the town; it has a large, convenient garden, with a lovely range of fruitful hills, which rise at a small distance from it. I preached in the evening to an exceedingly serious
John Wesley—The Journal of John Wesley

The King's Herald.
"On Jordan's banks the Baptist's cry Announces that the Lord is nigh; Awake and hearken, for he brings Glad tidings of the King...." When the Saviour of the world was about to enter upon His public ministry, the Jewish nation was startled with the cry, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand" (S. Matt. iii. 2). Such was God's call to His people of old time, to prepare themselves to take part in the fulfilment of the promises, on which their faith and hopes were founded. The fulness of the times had come;
Edward Burbidge—The Kingdom of Heaven; What is it?

The Synoptic Gospels
ALL the gospels describe the sufferings and death of Christ with a minuteness which has no parallel in their narratives of other events of His life, and they all, to a certain extent, by references to the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy or otherwise, indicate their sense of its meaning and importance. This, however, reveals the mind of the evangelists rather than that of the Lord. It is in His life, rather than in the record of His death itself, that we must look for indications of His mind.
James Denney—The Death of Christ

Repentance and Restitution.
"God commandeth all men everywhere to repent."--Acts xvii. 30. Repentance is one of the fundamental doctrines of the Bible. Yet I believe it is one of those truths that many people little understand at the present day. There are more people to-day in the mist and darkness about Repentance, Regeneration, the Atonement, and such-like fundamental truths, than perhaps on any other doctrines. Yet from our earliest years we have heard about them. If I were to ask for a definition of Repentance, a great
Dwight L. Moody—The Way to God and How to Find It

Christ's Priestly Office
Q-35: HOW DOES CHRIST EXECUTE THE OFFICE OF A PRIEST? A: In his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us. 'Now once in the end of the world has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.' Heb 9:96. What are the parts of Christ's priestly office? Christ's priestly office has two parts - his satisfaction and intercession. I. His Satisfaction; and this consists of two branches. [1] His active
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The First Ministry of the Baptist.
(LUKE III.) "Hark, what a sound, and too divine for hearing, Stirs on the earth and trembles in the air! Is it the thunder of the Lord's appearing? Is it the music of his people's prayer? "Surely He cometh, and a thousand voices Shout to the saints, and to the deaf and dumb; Surely He cometh, and the earth rejoices, Glad in his coming who hath sworn, I come." F. W. H. MYERS. The Preaching of Repentance--His Power as a Preacher--His Message--Warning of Impending Judgment--The Wages of Sin Thirty
F. B. Meyer—John the Baptist

From the Birth to the Ascension of Jesus.
The Four Gospels. The Story of this Period. It is common to designate this period as the "Life of Christ," meaning the time he spent on earth. There is, however, no scripture life of Jesus. The gospels do not claim to present such a life. They do, however, give us a vast amount of material and though different in purpose and consequently in content, they do present the same general picture of Jesus. The matter of arranging the material in an orderly way presents much difficulty. If a topographical
Josiah Blake Tidwell—The Bible Period by Period

The Security of Contemplatives Lies in their not Ascending to High Things if Our Lord Does not Raise Them. The Sacred Humanity must be the Road
1. There is one thing I should like to say--I think it important: and if you, my father, approve, it will serve for a lesson that possibly may be necessary; for in some books on prayer the writers say that the soul, though it cannot in its own strength attain to this state,--because it is altogether a supernatural work wrought in it by our Lord,--may nevertheless succeed, by lifting up the spirit above all created things, and raising it upwards in humility, after some years spent in a purgative life,
Teresa of Avila—The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus

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