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Q2. Offensive Baptism

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  • 8 months later...
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The Jews saw themselves as a nation raised above all other nations. With reason, they were after all God’s chosen people. Therefore their pride told them that they didn’t have to admit their sins in front of “lower class” people or nations.

They prided themselves in their ability to keep the law, thus they didn’t think that they had to repent, they they had to change their ways.

People who humbled themselves welcomed his baptism. People who could admit their pride, their sin, that they did wrong.

Gentiles who didn’t saw them as someone who was above others, and Jews who saw the truth in what John preached. People who was in touch with God, who was already searching for God

Those with pride resisted it, because it whould have ment that they had to admit that they could not upheld the law all the time, and they had to admit that the law alone was not enough. The religion that they were taught and followed all their life was not complete, a scary thought if you compare it to us. What would you do if somebody told you that you had to add to Christianity to have a complete relationship. The Jews were God’s chosen people, yet John told them that this was not enough.

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  • 11 months later...

Before John and Jesus, Jews held baptism as an act of purification and initiation of those wanting to convert to Judaism. For example, the Book of Leviticus tells us that cleansing was required if a dead person was touched and the priests performed symbolic cleansing before and after performing their priestly duties. In addition, if a Gentile wanted to convert, s/he would have to be immersed in water to be cleansed first.

Now here comes John the Baptist with a message to “repent and be baptized”, which had a different meaning to what had been the custom. He was telling them to repent of “sins” by means of a practice they used for other reasons. Not to mention the fact that this same practice was used for conversion of Gentiles whom they thought of as “dogs”.

The common people believed John repented and accepted the baptism he preached. Many of the Jewish leaders (political, religious, and others) had hard hearts, were still stiff necked, and wanted nothing to do with John’s message; they believed they had nothing to repent of or for and therefore, they refused to take part in the baptism as John presented it.

God the Father sent John to tell people to repent and baptize with water to cleanse people first --- before sending His Son Jesus to baptize them with the Holy Spirit. As believers, we know that the Holy Spirit does not want and will not reside in a dirty house.

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  • 3 months later...

To be baptised by John would have seen to be aligning yourself with Gentiles and non-Jews.  Jews considered themselves as the chosen people of God and did not need to be cleansed in the same way Gentiles and non-Jews needed to be cleansed.  Gentiles and Non-Jews would therefore have welcomed this baptism as they did not need to be of Jewish lineage or descent in order to receive this baptism.  This baptism would have been seen as an inferior practise and resisted by those who took pride in their identity as Jews. 

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  • 6 months later...

John said "God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones" (Mat 3:9). That would have been pretty offensive to the Jews who considered themselves as God's chosen race. John was basically saying you could be dirt and still be raised up to their level. Ouch. Jews thought that he was just one of thousands of ascetic radicals running around Israel at the time. He was drawing large crowds to what they thought was nothing more than religious grandstanding. He was a distraction and a disgrace to the Jewish leaders who prided themselves on controlling the Jewish agenda. John called them vipers.

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  • 1 month later...

Going on the premise that John's baptism was comparable to proselyte baptism simply immersing them in water compared them to the Gentiles and required a lot of humility to be publically baptized and repent of their sins.  Jews were God's chosen people.  Jesus welcomed John's baptism.  The Jewish leaders refused to admit they were inners in this way.

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  • 1 year later...

Part A

Since John's Baptism can be seen in the light of their "proselyte baptism" (Dr. Wilson), it would have been a really big thing for a Jew to submit to the same baptism as that of a "non-Jew" (Dr. Wilson).


John was telling them that they must repent of their sins and be baptized; although, they didn't think of themselves as sinners and in need of repentance and baptism.


They would not be able to claim Abraham as their Father, nor any of his merits that he had with God.  This must have been shocking for the Jew, that they would have to answer for themselves without the merits of Abraham.


Part B

"Then Jerusalem, and all Judea, and the region about the Jordan" (Mt. 3:5).


Part C

"The Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God's purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John" (Lu. 7:30; Dr. Wilson).




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  • 5 months later...

When you are blinded by self-righteousness you see no need for repentance. A "once-and-for-all" baptism would have been far below a pious Pharisee. When you think the direction you're going is the right way why change directions, right? The true humility necessary for a public display of repentance and remorse is seldom found where pride dwells in a brood of vipers.

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  • 7 months later...


Q2. (Matthew 3:5-10; Luke 7:30) How would John's baptism have offended a Jew's national pride? Who welcomed John's baptism? Who resisted it? Why?

 How would John's baptism have offended a Jew's national pride?  

John's baptism was not based on or authorized by the Jewish law and was only practiced on Gentiles who were converting to Judaism.  The Leaders of the Jews were offended that they should submit to the same baptism as the heathen, since they were the chosen of God.  

Who welcomed John's baptism? Luk 7:29  And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.  

Those whose conscience troubled them knew the law was not enough to cleanse them and were humble enough to be open to baptism. 


Most of the leaders of the Jews, the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenesand scribes resisted John’s baptism.  They were more interested in 

political power than religious correctness and they loved the praises of men  Luk 20:46  

They did not believe they needed a savior, Gen 4:7 (ESV)  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it."

Jews believed they could be sinless if they ruled over sin by their efforts to follow the law of God and therefore did not need a savior.  Any sins they did commit could be cleansed by the priest atoning for the people (Lev 9:7 sin offering sacrifice.) They were upset at the idea 

that anything else would be necessary to cleanse them of sin and they were righteously offended.  

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  • 3 years later...
On 9/16/2010 at 2:31 PM, Pastor Ralph said:

Q2. (Matthew 3:5-10; Luke 7:30) How would John's baptism have offended a Jew's national pride? It might be the case the baptism by immersion called into question whether a Jew was getting baptized because they were becoming Jews again, as was the case with proselyte baptism which was when a Gentile was introduced in Judaism,  

Who welcomed John's baptism? The faithful iikely believed in John's teachings about the arrival of the Messiah and this probably why people wanted to be baptized, and saved.

Who resisted it? Why? The religious leaders resisted because they did neither believed that John was a prophet of God, nor did they believe his message about the arrival of the Messiah.


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  • 3 years later...

Nations depend on Laws.  All Nations are built on Laws.  Nations depend on Laws to keep National Order.  We depend on Laws for Order.   The Israeli  fail as a Nation.  John offended  the Pharisee and  Sadducess by their Religious beliefs and  Customs.  In Matthew ch3v2 John and  Matthew ch 4v17 (Jesus first  public ministry  both said  REPENT, for the KINGDOM of Heaven is near.  The citizens benefit. 

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