John the Baptist Prepares the Way Luke 3:1-20
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler[a] of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.19 But Herod the ruler,[f] who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added to them all by shutting up John in prison.
What does the passage say?
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V. 1-6 John the Baptist was in the wilderness when he hear the word of God. The word he receives is the key to fulfilling his purpose; to prepare the way. The Message says, “Prepare God’s arrival! Make the road smooth and straight! Every ditch will be filled in, every bump smoothed out, all the ruts paved over. Everyone will be there to see the parade of God’s salvation” (v. 4-6 The Message)
V. 7-14 There were crowds following John the Baptist. Even in the days of Jesus, there were crowds. To these crowds, John says what Jesus is asking. John challenges them total transformation of their lives. Not to follow flesh, but the follow God’s kingdom. The reason for living in this transformation is to bear fruit in their lives. Then John tells them how to live. This is not a basis for salvation. However, this gives a valuable insight for the people. Not to live with greed overcoming who they should be.
V. 15-20 The people wonder if John is the promised Messiah. However, John assures them that Jesus will come, and when Jesus comes, they will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. We remember that John was filled with the Holy Spirit since he was born (Luke 1: 15), and he is saying that when Jesus comes they can all receive the Holy Spirit.
What does this passage mean to me/us?
We are called to pave the way, as John was called to this duty. John promises the people to wait for Jesus since he has the authority to baptize in the name of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit is the energy and empowerment for him to proclaim and carry out God’s purpose. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will have to same empowerment to share the word. We are included in the Mission of God, through the Holy Spirit.
Paul says, “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18)
Are you prepared for the Holy Spirit being filled in your life?
What are your thoughts?
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