John the Baptist Preaches
3 Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] [a]Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— 2 in the high [b]priesthood of Annas and [c]Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin; 4 as it is written and forever remains written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
[d]Make His paths straight.
‘Every ravine shall be filled up,
And every mountain and hill shall be leveled;
And the crooked [places] shall be made straight,
And the rough roads smooth;
and [e]all mankind shall see the salvation of God.’”(A)
7 So he began saying to the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of [f]vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath [of God that is] to come? 8 Therefore produce fruit that is worthy of [and consistent with your] repentance [that is, live changed lives, turn from sin and seek God and His righteousness]. And do not even begin to say to yourselves [as a defense], ‘We have Abraham for our father [and so our heritage assures us of salvation]’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children (descendants) for Abraham [for God can replace the unrepentant, regardless of their heritage, with those who are obedient].(B) 9 Even now the axe [of God’s judgment] is swinging toward the root of the trees; so every tree that does not produce good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked him, “Then what are we to do?” 11 And John replied, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do the same.” 12 Even some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 And he told them, “Collect no more than the fixed amount you have been ordered to [collect].” 14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us, what are we to do?” And he replied to them, “Do not [g]extort money from anyone or harass or blackmail anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”
15 Now the people were in a state of expectation, and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed). 16 John answered them all by saying, “As for me, I baptize you [only] [h]with water; but One who is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I is coming, and I am not fit to untie the strap of His sandals [even as His slave]. He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit and [you who remain unrepentant] with [i]fire.(C) 17 His [j]winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom); but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other appeals and various admonitions John preached the good news (gospel) to the people. 19 But when Herod [Antipas] the tetrarch was repeatedly reprimanded [and convicted by John’s disapproval] for having [k]Herodias, his brother’s wife [as his own], and for all the wicked things that Herod had done,(D) 20 he also added this to them all: he locked up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, the [visible] heaven was opened,(E) 22 and the [l]Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are My Son, My Beloved, in You I am well-pleased and delighted!”(F)
Genealogy of Jesus
23 When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son [by marriage] of Eli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.(G)
- Luke 3:1 See note Matt 22:17.
- Luke 3:2 Annas served from a.d. 6-15, before being deposed by Roman authorities; however, the Jews continued to recognize him as high priest de facto even though others, including his sons and son-in-law, held the official title and publicly appeared to serve as high priest.
- Luke 3:2 Served as high priest from a.d. 18-36, although Annas kept de facto authority.
- Luke 3:4 In spiritual terms, John’s message was clearing the way for the arrival of the Messiah by preparing the hearts of those who were to follow Him.
- Luke 3:6 I.e. salvation is available to both Jew and Gentile.
- Luke 3:7 I.e. poisonous snakes. An expression intended to describe the repulsive character of many people in the crowd.
- Luke 3:14 The Greek term is similar to our colloquial “shake down,” that is, using violence or threats to force someone to hand over money.
- Luke 3:16 The Greek here can be translated in, with, or by.
- Luke 3:16 Some scholars view “fire” as judgment; however, another view of “fire” purports that the text refers to the fiery baptism of the Holy Spirit, not judgment. The Holy Spirit promised here has been associated with Pentecost, purification, testing, and judgment. Each person who accepts Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5-8). According to this view the fire indicates that the believer is purified as in the refining of gold. Fire burns up the impurities and the gold (the believer) survives (cf 1 Cor 3:12, 13; James 1:3).
- Luke 3:17 A tool roughly resembling a pitchfork, used to separate grains of wheat from the chaff by throwing the wheat into the air, and allowing the wind to blow away the lighter chaff.
- Luke 3:19 See note Matt 14:3.
- Luke 3:22 See note Matt 3:17.
- Luke 3:6 : Is 40:3-5
- Luke 3:8 : Matt 3:9
- Luke 3:16 : Matt 3:11
- Luke 3:19 : Matt 14:3; Mark 6:17
- Luke 3:21 : Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; John 1:32
- Luke 3:22 : Ps 2:7; Is 42:1
- Luke 3:38 : Gen 5:3-32; 11:10-26; Ruth 4:18-22; 1 Chr 1:1-4, 24-28; 2:1-15