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LUKE 3:1–3:38 ©

The Gospel of Luke 3

3This next part of the history happened when Tiberius Caesar had been ruling the Roman Empire for about fifteen years. At that time, Pontius Pilate was the governor of the province of Judea, Herod Antipas was ruling the district of Galilee, his brother Philip was ruling the regions of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanius was ruling the region of Abilene. 2The high priests at the temple in Jerusalem were Annas and Caiaphas. During that time, God spoke to Zechariah’s son John while he was living out in the desolate area. 3John traveled all around the area near the Jordan River. He kept announcing to the people who came to hear him, “If you want God to forgive your sins, you must reject wrong ways of living. Then I will baptize you!” 4When John preached like this, the words came true that the prophet Isaiah wrote on a scroll long ago:

“In the desolate place, someone will be calling out to the people:

‘Prepare yourselves to receive the Lord!

Make yourselves ready for when he comes!’

5When an important person is going to arrive by a certain road, people fill in all the ravines and level off all the steep places in it.

They make the road straight wherever it is crooked,

and they smooth out all the bumps. In the same way, God will make sure that there will be people who are ready for the Messiah.

6Then everyone will recognize God’s way of saving people.”

7Large groups of people were coming out to the desolate place where John was so that he would baptize them. So John said to them, “You people are sneaky and dangerous like poisonous snakes! You think that if I baptize you, God will spare you when he punishes sinners. But I did not say that! 8You need to do the things that show that you have truly rejected your previous sinful way of living! And do not even begin to say to yourselves, ‘Certainly God will not punish us, because we are descendants of Abraham!’ That does not impress God. Let me assure you, God could turn these stones into descendants of Abraham! 9You are like fruit trees that do not produce good fruit. God is like a man who is positioning the head of his axe at the base of those trees, ready to chop them down and throw them into the fire. God is ready to punish you like that if you continue sinning.” 10Then several of the people in the crowd asked him, “What kinds of things, then, does God want us to do?” 11He answered them, “If any of you has two shirts, you should give one of them to someone who does not have a shirt. If any of you has plenty of food, you should give some to those who do not have food.” 12Some tax collectors also came, wanting John to baptize them. They asked him, “Teacher, what does God want us to do?” 13He said to them, “Do not collect more money from the people than the Roman government tells you to collect!” 14There were also some men there who were soldiers. Even they asked him, “And what about us? What does God want us to do?” He said to them, “Do not force people to give you money by threatening to harm them or by falsely accusing them of doing something wrong. Be content with the amount of money that you earn as a soldier.” 15People had been waiting for a long time for the Messiah to come. But now they were getting very hopeful about John. They thought that he might be the Messiah. 16But John said to all of them, “I am not the Messiah. He is coming, and he is far greater than I am. He is so great that I am not worthy even to be like the slave who would untie the straps of his sandals when he comes in the house! When I baptized you, I used only water. But when the Messiah comes, he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, who will judge and purify you. 17The Messiah is ready to do this, just like a farmer who has his winnowing fork ready to use. A farmer separates all the good grain from the useless chaff. He stores the grain safely in his barn, but he burns the chaff until it is all gone. That represents how the Messiah will gather up the people who are pleasing to God, and he will punish the people who are displeasing to God.18In many different ways like this, John urged the people to stop sinning and to submit themselves to God, as he kept telling them the good news from God. 19John even rebuked King Herod for all of the many evil things that Herod had done. But when John rebuked Herod for marrying his brother’s wife, Herodias, while his brother was still alive, 20Herod did another evil thing. He had his soldiers put John in prison. 21But before Herod did that, while John was still baptizing many people, John also baptized Jesus. Afterwards, while Jesus was praying, the sky opened. 22Then the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, came down and landed on Jesus. Then God spoke to Jesus from heaven. He said, “You are my Son, the one whom I love dearly. I am very pleased with you!” 23At that time Jesus began his work for God. He was about 30 years old. This is Jesus’ lineage: People considered Jesus to be the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Heli. 24Heli was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. Levi was the son of Melchi. Melchi was the son of Jannai. Jannai was the son of Joseph. 25Joseph was the son of Mattathias. Mattathias was the son of Amos. Amos was the son of Nahum. Nahum was the son of Esli. Esli was the son of Naggai. 26Naggai was the son of Maath. Maath was the son of Mattathias. Mattathias was the son of Semein. Semein was the son of Josech. Josech was the son of Joda. 27Joda was the son of Joanan. Joanan was the son of Rhesa. Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the son of Neri. 28Neri was the son of Melchi. Melchi was the son of Addi. Addi was the son of Cosam. Cosam was the son of Elmadam. Elmadam was the son of Er. 29Er was the son of Joshua. Joshua was the son of Eliezer. Eliezer was the son of Jorim. Jorim was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. 30Levi was the son of Simeon. Simeon was the son of Judah. Judah was the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Jonam. Jonam was the son of Eliakim. 31Eliakim was the son of Melea. Melea was the son of Menna. Menna was the son of Mattatha. Mattatha was the son of Nathan. Nathan was the son of David. 32David was the son of Jesse. Jesse was the son of Obed. Obed was the son of Boaz. Boaz was the son of Salmon. Salmon was the son of Nahshon. 33Nahshon was the son of Amminadab. Amminadab was the son of Admin. Admin was the son of Arni. Arni was the son of Hezron. Hezron was the son of Perez. Perez was the son of Judah. 34Judah was the son of Jacob. Jacob was the son of Isaac. Isaac was the son of Abraham. Abraham was the son of Terah. Terah was the son of Nahor. 35Nahor was the son of Serug. Serug was the son of Reu. Reu was the son of Peleg. Peleg was the son of Eber. Eber was the son of Shelah. 36Shelah was the son of Cainan. Cainan was the son of Arphaxad. Arphaxad was the son of Shem. Shem was the son of Noah. Noah was the son of Lamech. 37Lamech was the son of Methuselah. Methuselah was the son of Enoch. Enoch was the son of Jared. Jared was the son of Mahalalel. Mahalalel was the son of Cainan. 38Cainan was the son of Enos. Enos was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam came from God.

LUKE 3:1–3:38 ©