Luke 3: Baptism of Jesus

Since his parents were past the age of childbearing when John was born, they must have died long before he turned thirty. What did he do after that?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:1–2 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor, when Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea, Herod Antipas ruled over Galilee, and his brother Philip ruled over Iturea and Traconitis. Lysanias ruled over Abilene. This was during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, when the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
King James
Luke 3:1–2 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

In what way did the word of God come to John?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:2 This was during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, when the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
King James
Luke 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

If John preached near the Jordan River, not in the towns, how did people gain an interest in seeing him?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:3 In those days, John traveled the areas near the Jordan River and preached that people should repent, be forgiven by God for their sins, and be baptized.
King James
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

In Jesus’ day, how did the concept of forgiveness differ from what we know today?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:3 In those days, John traveled the areas near the Jordan River and preached that people should repent, be forgiven by God for their sins, and be baptized.
King James
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

What was the significance of baptism then and now?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:3 In those days, John traveled the areas near the Jordan River and preached that people should repent, be forgiven by God for their sins, and be baptized.
King James
Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

How did Luke know what Isaiah had prophesied concerning John?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:4–6 Long ago, the prophet Isaiah referred to John when he wrote: Listen! Someone is shouting, “Clear a path in the wilderness, for the Lord our God is coming. Fill the valleys and flatten the mountains. Straighten the curves and smooth the rough places. The glory of the Lord will appear for all to see.
King James
Luke 3:4–6 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

What was John’s attitude toward the people who came to see him?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:7 Then he said to the multitude coming to be baptized, “You bunch of snakes. Who warned you to flee God’s judgment?”
King James
Luke 3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

What validated peoples’ claim to be “children of Abraham”?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:8 “The way you live proves whether you have left your sins and turned to God. Do not say to one another, ‘We are all right because we are Abraham’s descendants.’ That does not mean anything. God can make these stones into children of Abraham.”
John 8:44 “You come from your father, the devil, and your desires are like his. From the beginning, he was a murderer and opposed the truth, because truth was not in his nature. When he lies, he speaks from his heart, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Galatians 3:7 The true children of Abraham, God’s chosen people, are those who live by faith, not the Law.
3:29 If you belong to Christ, then you are part of Abraham’s family and heirs of God’s promise.
King James
Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
3:29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Why did John say people’s fruit wasn’t good?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 7:21–22 “Not everyone who calls me master will enter the Kingdom of Heaven but only those who do the will of my heavenly Father. On Judgment Day, many will say, ‘Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out evil spirits, and do many wonderful deeds in your name?'”
Luke 3:8–9 “The way you live proves whether you have left your sins and turned to God. Do not say to one another, ‘We are all right because we are Abraham’s descendants.’ That does not mean anything. God can make these stones into children of Abraham. His axe is raised, ready to sever the roots of every tree that does not produce good fruit. You will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
King James
Matthew 7:21–22 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Luke 3:8–9 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

In what ways do people behave differently when they are doing God’s will?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:10–14 “What should we do?” the people said.
“If you have two garments, give one to the poor. Share your food with people who are starving.”
Even the cheating tax collectors asked what to do. To them, he said, “Do not collect any more taxes than the government requires.”
To the soldiers, he said, “Be content with your pay. Never extort money or make false accusations.”
King James
Luke 3:10–14 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

How common was the anticipation of the Messiah’s coming?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:15 People who anticipated the coming of the Messiah asked if John might be the Messiah.
King James
Luke 3:15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

What did John want people to think about his ministry?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:15–16 People who anticipated the coming of the Messiah asked if John might be the Messiah.
“No, I am not the Messiah,” he said. “He will come after me and will be much greater than I am. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
King James
Luke 3:15–16 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

How did John’s description affect people’s perception of what the Messiah would do when he came?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:16–17 “No, I am not the Messiah,” he said. “He will come after me and will be much greater than I am. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. He is ready to separate the wheat from the chaff and clean up the threshing area. He will gather the wheat into his barn but burn the chaff with eternal fire.”
King James
Luke 3:16–17 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

How did John’s preaching encourage people? What additional words of encouragement might he have offered?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:18 With many other words, he encouraged the people and preached about how they could gain hope for salvation.
King James
Luke 3:18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

Why was open rebuke a problem for Herod?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:19–20 John had openly rebuked Herod Antipas, ruler of Galilee, for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias, and for all the evils he had done. So Herod put him in prison, adding this to his many sins.
King James
Luke 3:19–20 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

What kind of prayer was said when Jesus was baptized?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:21–22 As the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized. While he prayed, the sky opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, lighting upon him. A voice spoke from above: “You are my son, whom I love. I am well pleased with you.”
King James
Luke 3:21–22 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

What people saw Jesus’ baptism and God’s spirit descending, and heard the voice from above? How did they interpret what they saw and heard?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Luke 3:21–22 As the people were being baptized, Jesus was also baptized. While he prayed, the sky opened and the Spirit of God descended like a dove, lighting upon him. A voice spoke from above: “You are my son, whom I love. I am well pleased with you.”
King James
Luke 3:21–22 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Why does Luke describe Jesus’ ancestry different from Matthew?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Mathew 1:1–16 Matthew reports the ancestors of Jesus starting with Abraham, his son Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob. After that, there was Judah and his son Perez (whose mother was Tamar). Perez’s descendants were Hezron, Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, and Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz’s decendents were Obed (whose mother was Ruth), Jesse, David, and Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Solomon’s descendants were Rehoboam, Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amos, Josiah, and Jehoiachin, who was born when the Jews were exiled to Babylon. Jehoiachin’s descendants were Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Akim, Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, and Jacob. Joseph was Jacob’s son and the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus the Messiah.
Luke 3:23–38 Jesus began his public ministry when he was about thirty years old. He was known as the son of Joseph, who was preceded by Heli, Matthat, Levi, Melki, Jannai, Joseph, Mattathias, Amos, Nahum, Esli, Naggai, Maath, Mattathias, Semein, Joda, Joanan, Rhesa, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel, Neri, Melki, Addi, Cosam, Elmadam, Er, Joshua, Eliezer, Jorim, Matthat, Levi, Simeon, Judah, Joseph, Jonam, Eliakim, Melea, Menna, Mattatha, Nathan, David, Jesse, Obed, Boaz, Salmon, Nahshon, Amminadab, Admin, Arni, Hezron, Perez, Judah, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Terah, Nahor, Serug, Reu, Peleg, Eber, Shelah, Cainan, Arphaxad, Shem, Noah, Lamech, Methuselah, Enoch, Jared, Mahalalel, Kenan, Enosh, and Seth, who was the son of Adam, the son of God.
King James
Mathew 1:1–16 Verse Text
Luke 3:23–38 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren; And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon; And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias; And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa; And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias; And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias; And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias; And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel; And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor; And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud; And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob; And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
Luke 3:23–38 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson, Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda, Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.