Luke 3:1-20

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of 1Tiberius Caesar, 2Pontius Pilate 3being governor of Judea, and 4Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
2 during 5the high priesthood of Annas and 6Caiaphas, 7the word of God came to 8John the son of Zechariah in 9the wilderness.
3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming 10a baptism of repentance 11for the forgiveness of sins.
4 As it is written in 12the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, 13"The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 14'Prepare the way of the Lord,[a] make his paths straight.
5 15Every valley shall be filled, 16and every mountain and hill shall be made low, 17and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,
6 18and all flesh shall see 19the salvation of God.'"
7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, 20"You brood of 21vipers! Who warned you to flee from 22the wrath to come?
8 Bear fruits 23in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 24'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from 25these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. 26Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
10 And the crowds asked him, 27"What then shall we do?"
11 And he answered them, 28"Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."
12 29Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Teacher, 30what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, 31"Collect no more than you are authorized to do."
14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, 32what shall we do?" And he said to them, 33"Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your 34wages."
15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, 35whether he might be 36the Christ,
16 37John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but 38he who is mightier than I is coming, 39the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you 40with the Holy Spirit and with 41fire.
17 His 42winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to 43gather the wheat into his barn, 44but the chaff he will burn with 45unquenchable fire."
18 So 46with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
19 But 47Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done,
20 added this to them all, that 48he locked up John in prison.

Luke 3:1-20 In-Context

1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
3 And 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 Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying 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 become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'"
7 He said therefore 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 in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
9 Even now the axe is laid to 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 shall we do?"
11 And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise."
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"
13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."
14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."
15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ,
16 John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done,
20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened,
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."
23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) 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,

Cross References 48

  • 1. [Luke 2:1]
  • 2. See Matthew 27:2
  • 3. Luke 2:2
  • 4. ver. 19; Luke 8:3; Luke 9:7, 9; Luke 13:31; Luke 23:7; Matthew 14:1; Acts 4:27; Acts 13:1; [Mark 6:14]
  • 5. John 18:13, 24; Acts 4:6
  • 6. See Matthew 26:3
  • 7. For ver. 2-17, see Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:2-8
  • 8. John 1:6, 7
  • 9. Luke 1:80; Joshua 15:61; [Judges 1:16]
  • 10. Acts 2:38
  • 11. Matthew 26:28; [Luke 1:77]
  • 12. Luke 4:17; [Acts 8:28]
  • 13. John 1:23; Cited from Isaiah 40:3-5
  • 14. Luke 1:76
  • 15. [Isaiah 57:14]
  • 16. Isaiah 49:11; Zechariah 4:7
  • 17. Isaiah 42:16; Isaiah 45:2
  • 18. Isaiah 52:10; [Psalms 98:2, 3]
  • 19. Luke 2:30; Acts 28:28; [Luke 1:69, 71, 77; Titus 2:11]
  • 20. Matthew 12:34; Matthew 23:33
  • 21. Psalms 140:3
  • 22. Romans 5:9; Ephesians 5:6; Colossians 3:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:10
  • 23. Acts 26:20
  • 24. John 8:39
  • 25. [Luke 4:3]
  • 26. Luke 13:7, 9; Matthew 7:19; John 15:2, 6
  • 27. Acts 2:37; Acts 16:30; Acts 22:10
  • 28. Isaiah 58:7; Daniel 4:27; Ephesians 4:28; James 2:15, 16; 1 John 3:17; [Luke 18:22]
  • 29. Luke 7:29; Matthew 21:32
  • 30. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 31. Luke 19:8
  • 32. [See ver. 10 above]
  • 33. [See ver. 13 above]
  • 34. 1 Corinthians 9:7(Gk.)
  • 35. John 1:19, 20
  • 36. See Matthew 1:17
  • 37. John 1:26; Acts 1:5
  • 38. John 1:15, 27; John 3:30, 31; Acts 13:25
  • 39. Isaiah 5:27
  • 40. John 1:33; Acts 11:16
  • 41. [Malachi 3:2, 3; Acts 2:3]
  • 42. Isaiah 30:24
  • 43. Matthew 13:30
  • 44. Malachi 4:1
  • 45. Mark 9:43, 48
  • 46. [John 20:30; John 21:25]
  • 47. Matthew 14:3; Mark 6:17, 18; See ver. 1
  • 48. [John 3:24]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord
  • [b]. Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.