3:16 not worthy to untie. In the rabbinic schools a student did not pay his teacher. He was required to perform services, but not the loosing of the sandal, which was considered too menial. John took a lowly place.
fire. The baptism with fire points to judgment (v. 9 note). The winnowing fork (v. 17) is another symbol for judgment. Workers used the fork to throw harvested grain into the wind, letting the grains fall directly to the ground and the chaff blow away. When the threshing floor was cleared, the chaff would be burned.