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Sermon Notes: Matthew 3:1-12

Sermon Notes: Matthew 3:1-12


Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12

Pastor: Dr. Edgar Aponte

Date: June 25, 2023




Truthful Repentance Bears Good Fruit



  1. The purpose of John the Baptist was to point people to Jesus. As a believer, your life needs to point people to Jesus.
    1. For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” Matthew 3:3
    2. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD (Yahweh); make straight in the desert a highway for our God (Elohim).” Isaiah 40:3
    3. Other Scriptures
      1. 2 Kings 1:7-8
      2. Malachi 4:5
        1. Matthew 11:7-10, 13-14
        2. Matthew 17:10-13
        3. Luke 1:17


  1. Do not presume God’s grace in your life, and examine your heart to find the fruit of repentance.
    1. Repent…
  1. Matthew 3:2
  2. Matthew 4:17
  • Acts 2:38


  1. Baptism is repentance and faith going public. If you have believed, you need to be baptized.
    1. See Matthew 3:6
      1. Luke 3:3
      2. Acts 2:38, 41
  • Matthew 28:19-20
  1. The idea of an “unbaptized-Christian” is foreign to the News Testament.








  • The purpose of your group time is to reflect on God’s truth together, discussing how it impacts your life and walk with Jesus.
  • There are more questions than you can cover in one group. Just use the ones that will best facilitate discussion in your group.
  • Feel free to edit/rephrase the questions to fit your personality and style.



  1. What stood out to you from the sermon (or from the passage)?
  2. What parts are the most challenging and why?
  3. What parts are the most exciting/helpful and why?






John gives two reasons why the people should repent. The Kingdom of God is at hand. And the King is here.

  1. What imagery does the word “repent” bring to your mind? (whether it’s positive or negative)
  • How might verses like PROVERBS 14:12 and JOHN 10:10 illustrate the importance and the beauty of the call to repentance?
  • Why is the call to repentance and important part of the good news about Jesus?


  1. John the Baptist is quoting ISAIAH 40:3 when he says “prepare the way of the LORD”, which uses the covenant name of God (YHWH). How do these first 3 verses of chapter 3 point us towards Jesus’s identity as God?


LEADER’S NOTE: Based on John’s message and his outfit (see 2 KINGS 1:8 and Micah 4:5), he was certainly invoking the imagery of Elijiah the prophet, and identifying with Elijiah’s ministry of preparing the way for the Messiah.


  1. READ JOHN 3:27-30. How does John the Baptist’s view of his role “He must increase, but I must decrease” teach us about how we are to share Jesus with others? Why might this be particularly important in our current cultural moment?


LEADER’S NOTE: John the Baptist wasn’t exactly the most encouraging or welcoming towards the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious power players in Jerusalem) calling them a “brood of vipers”.


  1. What is this passage suggesting about even seemingly pious people needing repentance? How does this impact your understanding of what repentance is?


  1. What does John’s stern warning to the religious leaders suggest about their unique difficulty in receiving John’s message (and being prepared for the coming of Jesus)?
  • When have you experienced “pious” people struggling to receive the gospel?
  • Why do you think this can be such a barrier?


  1. What does John mean when he tells the crowd to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance”? (see LUKE 3:10-14 for some examples)
  • What is the distinction between repentance and the fruit repentance is meant to bear?
  • Why is this distinction important in helping us understand the call to salvation?


  1. Why was it such a danger for the Pharisees and Sadducees to presume on their national heritage to please God?
  • What might this same presumption look like for us today?
  • How does this encourage you to take ownership of your own faith?
  • How might this be important for you if you are a parent?


  1. How do prophecies like MALACHI 3:2-5 help us understand the baptism “with the Holy Spirit and fire” in MATTHEW 3:11?
  • What does this prophecy tell us about one of the works of the Holy Spirit in our lives?
  • How have you experienced this refining work in your own life?


  1. How does MATTHEW 3:12 encourage you in sharing the message of Jesus of with those around you?