The man of St Matthew


Chapter 3: Overview

With chapter 3 Matthew now joins the Gospel story as it is told by Mark in his first chapter. We hear about the ministry of John the Baptist which is then followed by the baptism of Jesus. For all the Gospels, including the three which have prologues, the story proper opens with the appearance of John the Baptist (see Acts 1,21-22).

We can begin therefore by comparing Matthew with the beginning of Mark. Look for the end of Mark's prologue and note where this comes in Matthew.

Chapter 3 easily divides into two for our reading because its second part opens with the arrival of Jesus from Galilee (3,13).
The first part (3,1-12) therefore describes the ministry of John the Baptist.
The baptism of Jesus then follows (3,13-17).

As with the other Gospels, this will be followed by the testing of Jesus (see Mk 1,12-13). This is told in chapter 4 (4,1-11) so we will read it with that chapter.

We can now move straight on to reading about the ministry of John the Baptist, Mt 3,1-12.