John Prepares the Way


Luke 3:1-20

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judæa, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituræa and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness 3 and he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, every mountain and hill will be brought low, the crooked will be made straight, the rough ways will be made smooth and all flesh will see the salvation of God.’ ” 

Then he said to the multitude that came forth to be baptized by him, “O generation of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father, because I say unto you that God is able to raise up children unto Abraham of these stones . 9 Even now, the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore which does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.”

10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?” 

11 He answered them, saying, “He who has two coats should give to him who has none and he who has meat should do likewise.” 

12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Master, what shall we do?” 13  He answered them, saying, “Collect no more than that which you are required to.”

14 Soldiers, similarly, asked him, “And what shall we do?”

He answered, saying, “Do not extort or falsely accuse anyone and be content with your wages.”

15 Given that the people were expectant, and many were wondering in their hearts about John, whether he were the Christ, or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but one mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to loose; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  17 His fan is in His hand; He will throughly clean His floor and gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

18 And he preached many other things in his exhortation to the people, 19 but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by John about Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and all the evils which he had done, 20 added to them all, by shutting up John in prison.


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