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John the Baptist Makes the Way Ready for Jesus (A)

Tiberius Caesar had been ruler for fifteen years. Pontius Pilate was ruler of the country of Judea. Herod was the ruler of the country of Galilee. His brother Philip was the ruler of the countries of Ituraea and Trachonitis. Lysanias was the ruler of the country of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the head religious leaders.

The Word of God came to John the Baptist, the son of Zacharias. John was in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan River. He preached that people should be baptized because they were sorry for their sins and had turned from them, and they would be forgiven. The early preacher Isaiah wrote these words: “His voice calls out in the desert. ‘Make the way ready for the Lord. Make the road straight for Him! Every valley will be filled and every mountain and hill will be brought down. The turns in the road will be made straight and the rough places will be made smooth. And all men will see God saving people from the punishment of their sins.’” (B)

John said to the people who came to be baptized by him, “You family of snakes! Who told you how to keep from the anger of God that is coming? Do something to let me see that you have turned from your sins. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you, God can make children for Abraham out of these stones. Even now the ax is on the root of the trees. Every tree that does not give good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 The people asked him, “Then what should we do?” 11 He answered them, “If you have two coats, give one to him who has none. If you have food, you must share some.” 12 Tax-gatherers came to be baptized also. They asked him, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 He said to them, “Do not take more money from people than you should.” 14 Also soldiers asked him, “What are we to do?” He answered them, “Take no money from anyone by using your own strength. Do not lie about anyone. Be happy with the pay you get.”

15 The people were looking for something to happen. They were thinking in their hearts about John the Baptist. They wondered if he might be the Christ. 16 But John said to all of them, “I baptize you with water. There is One coming Who is greater than I. I am not good enough to get down and help Him take off His shoes. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He comes ready to clean the grain. He will gather the grain and clean it all. He will put the clean grain into a building. But He will burn that which is no good with a fire that cannot be put out.”

John the Baptist Is Put in Prison (C)

18 John spoke much more as he preached the Good News to the people. 19 He had also spoken sharp words to Herod the ruler because of Herodias. She was his brother Philip’s wife. And John spoke to Herod about all the wrongs he had done. 20 To all these, Herod added another sin by putting John in prison.

The Baptism of Jesus (D)

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized also. As He prayed, the heaven opened. 22 The Holy Spirit came down on Him in a body like a dove. A voice came from heaven and said, “You are My much-loved Son. I am very happy with You.”

The Family of Jesus through Mary (E)

23 Jesus was about thirty years old when He began His work. People thought Jesus was the son of Joseph, the son of Heli. 24 Heli 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. 25 Joseph 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. 26 Naggai 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 Juda. 27 Juda was the son of Johanan. Johanan was the son of Rhesa. Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the son of Salathiel. Salathiel was the son of Neri. 28 Neri 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. 29 Er 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. 30 Levi was the son of Simeon. Simeon was the son of Judah. Judah was the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Janam. Janam was the son of Eliakim. 31 Eliakim 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. 32 David 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. 33 Nahshon was the son of Amminadab. Amminadab was the son of Admin. Admin was the son of Ram. Ram was the son of Hezron. Hezron was the son of Perez. Perez was the son of Judah. 34 Judah 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. 35 Nahor was the son of Serug. Serug was the son of Ragau. Ragau was the son of Peleg. Peleg was the son of Eber. Eber was the son of Shelah. 36 Shelah 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. 37 Lamech was the son of Methuselah. Methuselah was the son of Enoch. Enoch was the son of Jared. Jared was the son of Mahalaleel. Mahaleel was the son of Cainan. 38 Cainan was the son of Enos. Enos was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way(A)(B)

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate(C) was governor of Judea, Herod(D) tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,(E) the word of God came to John(F) son of Zechariah(G) in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.(H) As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
    every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
    the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a](I)

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers!(J) Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?(K) Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’(L) For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”(M)

10 “What should we do then?”(N) the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”(O)

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized.(P) “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,”(Q) he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely(R)—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John(S) might possibly be the Messiah.(T) 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water.(U) But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire.(V) 17 His winnowing fork(W) is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”(X) 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

19 But when John rebuked Herod(Y) the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, 20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.(Z)

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus(AA)(AB)

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying,(AC) heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him(AD) in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son,(AE) whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”(AF)

23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.(AG) He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,(AH)

the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,

the son of Levi, the son of Melki,

the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,

the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,

the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath,

the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,

the son of Josek, the son of Joda,

27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,

the son of Zerubbabel,(AI) the son of Shealtiel,

the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki,

the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,

the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,

29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,

the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,

the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon,

the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,

the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,

31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,

the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,(AJ)

the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse,

the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,

the son of Salmon,[d] the son of Nahshon,

33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,[e]

the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,(AK)

the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob,

the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,

the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,(AL)

35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,

the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,

the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,

the son of Arphaxad,(AM) the son of Shem,

the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,(AN)

37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,

the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,

the son of Kenan,(AO) 38 the son of Enosh,

the son of Seth, the son of Adam,

the son of God.(AP)


  1. Luke 3:6 Isaiah 40:3-5
  2. Luke 3:16 Or in
  3. Luke 3:16 Or in
  4. Luke 3:32 Some early manuscripts Sala
  5. Luke 3:33 Some manuscripts Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni; other manuscripts vary widely.

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