The Prophet John
Luke 3:1-18 (Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; John 1:6-13)
(1) In the fifteenth year of the reign of the Roman emperor Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod Antipas the tetrarch (a tetrarch was a governor of one of the four divisions of a country) governed Galilee, his brother Herod Philip was tetrarch governor of Iturea and Traconitis (the northern Transjordan), and Lysanias the tetrarch governed Abilene (the region around Damascus)—(2) during the rule of the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to the prophet John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness of Judea. (The wilderness of Judea was the desert region east of Jerusalem in the hill country of Judea and the Jordan Valley, measuring about 75 miles north-south and about 10 miles east-west).
(3) The prophet John went into all the wilderness region of the Jordan River, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (The Jordan River is around 156 miles/251 km long and flows north-south through the Sea of Galilee and on to the Dead Sea).
(4) As it is written in Isaiah 40:3-5, “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. (5) Every valley will be filled in, and every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads will become straight, and the rough ways smooth. (6) And all people will see the salvation of God.’ ”
(7) John said to the crowds of people coming out to be baptized by him, “You are a group of snakes! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath of God? (8) You must turn to God and live a life that produces fruit worthy of repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you the truth: God can raise up children for Abraham out of these rocks on the ground. (9) The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
(10) The people asked John, “What should we do?” (11) John said, “Anyone who has two shirts (inner tunics) should share with a person who does not have one, and anyone who has food should share with the person who has nothing to eat.”
(12) Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?” (13) John told them, “Don’t collect any more taxes than you are required to collect.”
(14) Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” John said, “Don’t take money by force and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with what you are paid.”
(15) The people were waiting with great expectancy, because they were thinking in their hearts that John might be the Messiah (Christ). (16) John said to them all, “I baptize you with water, but one who is much more powerful than I am will come. I am not worthy enough to untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (probably referring to judgment). (17) His pitchfork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, and he will burn up the waste with unending fire.”
(18) And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the gospel (good news) to them.
Herod Antipas Arrests John
Luke 3:19-20 (Matthew 14:3-12; Mark 6:17-29)
(19) And John also spoke against Herod Antipas (a son of Herod the Great and the governor of Galilee and Perea) because he had married Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (who lived in Rome), and against all the other evil things that he had done. (20) Then Herod did another evil thing by arresting John and putting him in prison.
The Baptism of Jesus
Luke 3:21-23 (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11)
(21) When all the people were being baptized by John, Jesus was also baptized in the Jordan River. And as he was praying, heaven was opened (22) and the Holy Spirit came down upon him in the physical form of a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am very pleased.”
(23) Now Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his public ministry.
The Genealogy of Jesus
Luke 3:23-38 (Matthew 1:1-17)
This is the genealogy of Jesus: He was recognized as the son of Joseph, son of Heli, (24) son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph, (25) son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai, (26) son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda, (27) son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri, (28) son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, (29) son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi, (30) son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim, (31) son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David, (32) son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon, (33) son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah, (34) son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor, (35) son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah, (36) son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech, (37) son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Kenan, (38) son of Enosh, son of Seth, son of Adam, and the son of God.