Gospel of Matthew Chapter Three

3:1 During this time John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the wilderness of Judea –
3:2 and teaching, “Change your heart,1 for the sanctuary of God is readily available.”3
3:3 For this is he who was spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, saying, “The voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD, make your path straight to Him.”’4
3:4 John had clothes of camel’s hair and a leather gird about his loins, and his food was locust beans5 and wild honey.
3:5 All of Jerusalem, Judea and the region surrounding Jordan all came to him,
3:6 and were baptized by him in Jordan, openly acknowledging their sins.
3:7 But when he saw many of the pharisees and sadducees approaching him for baptism, he said to them, “You progeny of vipers, who warned you to escape the impending indignation?
3:8 Therefore, bear fruit consistent with a change of heart.
3:9 And don’t think you can say amongst yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our master,' for I say to you that God can raise servants of Abraham from stones.
3:10 Indeed, the axe is applied to the root of the trees. Thus every tree that bears not good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
3:11 Indeed I baptize you with water for a change of heart. But he who follows me is greater than me – and I am not fit to remove his sandals. He will baptize you with the fire of the Holy Spirit.
3:12 Whose shovel is His Hand – and He will completely purge His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the garner, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
3:13 Then Jesus came to the Jordan from Galilee – to John in order to be baptized by him.
3:14 But John forbade him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?”
3:15 Jesus answered him, saying, “Let it be so now, for it is appropriate in order to execute devotion.” Then he surrendered to him.
3:16 When Jesus was baptized, he rose up out of the water and the spiritual realm opened up to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and appearing upon him;
3:17 Then suddenly a voice from the heavens said, “This is My beloved Servant, in whom I am well pleased.”

1. Verse 3:2. The Greek word μετανοέω (metanoeō) means to “change one’s mind” according to the lexicon. As the context regards matters of the heart, ‘change your heart’ would be an applicable phraseology.

2. Verse 3:2. The Greek word ἐγγίζωI’ (eggizō) means, according to the lexicon, “to bring near, to join one thing to another – to draw or come near to, to approach.” Within the context of being nearby or available – indicates being “readily available.”

3. Verse 3:3.
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.
A voice of one calling: "In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." (Isaiah 40:1-5 NIV)

4. Verse 3:4. The Greek word ἀκρίς (akris) – “locusts” – can refer to the insect but also to the seed pods of the locust tree. The pods were also referred to in ancient times as “locust beans.” The tree, Ceratonia siliqua, has also been called the carob tree, St John's-bread and the locust bean tree. There is no indication that John ate insects.