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John the Baptist (Luke 3)

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John The Baptist




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Luke 3

The preaching of John the Baptist
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 in the highpriesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the region round about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked paths shall become straight, and the rough ways smooth. 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
   7 He said to the crowds that went out to be baptized by him: You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves: We have Abraham as our father. For I say to you, that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 And even now, the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bring forth good fruit, is hewn down and cast into the fire.
   10 And the crowds asked him, saying: What then must we do? 11 And he answered and said to them: He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none, and he that has food, let him do likewise. 12 And there came also tax collectors to be baptized; and they said to him: Teacher, what must we do? 13 And he said to them: Collect no more than what you have been ordered to. 14 And soldiers also asked him, saying: And we, what must we do? And he said to them: Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.
   15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether he was the Christ, 16 John answered, saying to them all: I indeed baptize you with water, but there comes he that is mightier than I, whose shoelaces I am not worthy to untie. He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 Whose fan is in his hand, to cleanse his threshing-floor thoroughly, and to gather the wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.
   18 With many other appeals he preached good tidings to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for marrying Herodias his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done, 20 also added this, that he locked John up in prison.

The genealogy of Jesus
21 Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also having been baptized and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in a bodily form as a dove, and a voice came out of heaven: You are My beloved Son. In you I am well pleased. 23 And Jesus, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was legally reckoned) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 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 Esli, 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 Jesus, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Symeon, the son of Judas, 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 Arni, 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 Eber, 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 Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.



3:5 The leveling of the wilderness is symbolic. Those who were proud like the mountains were brought down low, and those with too negative a view of themselves, as low as the valleys, were lifted up to a higher level. The key in all this was repentance and acceptance of the reality of God’s forgiveness and acceptance.

3:8 Repentance isn’t a matter of words so much as actions, or “fruit”. Baptism is part of our process of repentance and forgiveness; but we must attempt to change in practice too.

3:8 To say within yourselves- The Bible focuses upon and addresses our internal and very private thought processes. Verse 15 also talks about how people reasoned within themselves. This is the essence of Christianity- to change our spirit, the way we think deep within. The real ‘Satan’ or adversary is our own innermost mind, and not any external cosmic being.

3:14 John didn’t tell the soldiers to stop being soldiers, but to act within moral principles. God meets us where we are, calls different people in different states, and asks them within their contexts to act accordingly. But the military shouldn’t be the occupation of choice for a Christian.

3:17 The idea of gathering wheat and destroying the chaff is the language of the final judgment, when Jesus returns. But Jesus was ready to begin that at His first coming. All believers down the centuries have therefore lived in the expectation of His imminent judgment coming; we should live constantly with the awareness that Jesus may return today.

3:20 Added this- God doesn’t just switch off watching sinners keeping on sinning. Each and every sin is a felt offence against Him, even if performed by Gentile unbelievers. His sensitivity to sin is amazing, and we should live our lives before Him recognizing it.

3:21 Jesus also- The idea is that Jesus was baptized along with all the other people, by full immersion as an adult. If He was baptized, so should we be.