Bible: Lk 3:1-20

The Ministry of John the Baptist

3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, 1  when Pontius Pilate 2  was governor of Judea, and Herod 3  was tetrarch 4  of Galilee, and his brother Philip 5  was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias 6  was tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 during the high priesthood 7  of Annas and Caiaphas, the word 8  of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 9  3:3 He 10  went into all the region around the Jordan River, 11  preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 12 

3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice 13  of one shouting in the wilderness: 14 

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make 15  his paths straight.

3:5 Every valley will be filled, 16 

and every mountain and hill will be brought low,

and the crooked will be made straight,

and the rough ways will be made smooth,

3:6 and all humanity 17  will see the salvation of God.’ 18 

3:7 So John 19  said to the crowds 20  that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! 21  Who warned you to flee 22  from the coming wrath? 3:8 Therefore produce 23  fruit 24  that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say 25  to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ 26  For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 27  3:9 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, 28  and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be 29  cut down and thrown into the fire.”

3:10 So 30  the crowds were asking 31  him, “What then should we do? 3:11 John 32  answered them, 33 The person who has two tunics 34  must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” 3:12 Tax collectors 35  also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do? 3:13 He told them, “Collect no more 36  than you are required to.” 37  3:14 Then some soldiers 38  also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” 39  He told them, “Take money from no one by violence 40  or by false accusation, 41  and be content with your pay.”

3:15 While the people were filled with anticipation 42  and they all wondered 43  whether perhaps John 44  could be the Christ, 45  3:16 John answered them all, 46 I baptize you with water, 47  but one more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy 48  to untie the strap 49  of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 50  3:17 His winnowing fork 51  is in his hand to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, 52  but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.” 53 

3:18 And in this way, 54  with many other exhortations, John 55  proclaimed good news to the people. 3:19 But when John rebuked Herod 56  the tetrarch 57  because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, 58  and because of all the evil deeds 59  that he had done, 3:20 Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.

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