|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:15-20 John the Baptist disowned being himself the Christ, but confirmed the people in their expectations of the long-promised Messiah. He could only exhort them to repent, and assure them of forgiveness upon repentance; but he could not work repentance in them, nor confer remission on them. Thus highly does it become us to speak of Christ, and thus humbly of ourselves. John can do no more than baptize with water, in token that they ought to purify and cleanse themselves; but Christ can, and will baptize with the Holy Ghost; he can give the Spirit, to cleanse and purify the heart, not only as water washes off the dirt on the outside, but as fire clears out the dross that is within, and melts down the metal, that it may be cast into a new mould. John was an affectionate preacher; he was beseeching; he pressed things home upon his hearers. He was a practical preacher; quickening them to their duty, and directing them in it. He was a popular preacher; he addressed the people, according to their capacity. He was an evangelical preacher. In all his exhortations, he directed people to Christ. When we press duty upon people, we must direct them to Christ, both for righteousness and strength. He was a copious preacher; he shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God. But a full stop was put to John's preaching when he was in the midst of his usefulness. Herod being reproved by him for many evils, shut up John in prison. Those who injure the faithful servants of God, add still greater guilt to their other sins.
Verse 18. - And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. These words tell us that the above was merely a "specimen" of John the Baptist's preaching, trenchant, fearless, practical, piercing the hearts of all classes and orders of the people who thronged to hear the earnest, fiery appeals of the great desert preacher. In this and in the next two verses St. Luke once more gives us a little picture of the events which were spread over a considerable area or' time. It is here introduced out of its proper place to explain the abrupt termination of the popular career of John the Baptist.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And many other thing's,.... Relating to the person and office of the Messiah, to the nature of his kingdom, the Gospel dispensation, and to faith in him; for he pointed him out to the people, and exhorted them to believe in him, and expressed much joy and pleasure on the hearing of his success and increase; and these, with others beside, in his "exhortation", or whilst he was
exhorting, or "comforting",
preached he unto the people: publishing the Gospel, the good news, and glad tidings of the Messiah's being come, and of life, righteousness, and salvation by him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. many other things, &c.—such as we read in Joh 1:29, 33, 34; 3:27-36. (Also see on Mt 3:12.)
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