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1-2 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Caesar, a message came from God to John (the son of Zacharias), as he was living out in the deserts. (Pilate was governor over Judea at that time; Herod, over Galilee; his brother Philip, over Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, over Abilene; and Annas and Caiaphas were high priests.) Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned to God and away from their sins, in order to be forgiven.[a]

In the words of Isaiah the prophet, John was “a voice shouting from the barren wilderness, ‘Prepare a road for the Lord to travel on! Widen the pathway before him! Level the mountains! Fill up the valleys! Straighten the curves! Smooth out the ruts! And then all mankind shall see the Savior sent from God.’”

Here is a sample of John’s preaching to the crowds that came for baptism: “You brood of snakes! You are trying to escape hell without truly turning to God! That is why you want to be baptized! First go and prove by the way you live that you really have repented. And don’t think you are safe because you are descendants of Abraham. That isn’t enough. God can produce children of Abraham from these desert stones! The ax of his judgment is poised over you, ready to sever your roots and cut you down. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

10 The crowd replied, “What do you want us to do?”

11 “If you have two coats,” he replied, “give one to the poor. If you have extra food, give it away to those who are hungry.”

12 Even tax collectors—notorious for their corruption—came to be baptized and asked, “How shall we prove to you that we have abandoned our sins?”

13 “By your honesty,” he replied. “Make sure you collect no more taxes than the Roman[b] government requires you to.”

14 “And us,” asked some soldiers, “what about us?”

John replied, “Don’t extort money by threats and violence; don’t accuse anyone of what you know he didn’t do; and be content with your pay!”

15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and eager to know whether or not John was he. This was the question of the hour and was being discussed everywhere.

16 John answered the question by saying, “I baptize only with water; but someone is coming soon who has far higher authority than mine; in fact, I am not even worthy of being his slave.[c] He will baptize you with fire—with the Holy Spirit. 17 He will separate chaff from grain, and burn up the chaff with eternal fire and store away the grain.” 18 He used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.

19-20 (But after John had publicly criticized Herod, governor of Galilee, for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done, Herod put John in prison, thus adding this sin to all his many others.)

21 Then one day, after the crowds had been baptized, Jesus himself was baptized; and as he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove settled upon him, and a voice from heaven said, “You are my much loved Son, yes, my delight.”

23-38 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.

Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.

Joseph’s father was Heli;

Heli’s father was Matthat;

Matthat’s father was Levi;

Levi’s father was Melchi;

Melchi’s father was Jannai;

Jannai’s father was Joseph;

Joseph’s father was Mattathias;

Mattathias’s father was Amos;

Amos’s father was Nahum;

Nahum’s father was Esli;

Esli’s father was Naggai;

Naggai’s father was Maath;

Maath’s father was Mattathias;

Mattathias’s father was Semein;

Semein’s father was Josech;

Josech’s father was Joda;

Joda’s father was Joanan;

Joanan’s father was Rhesa;

Rhesa’s father was Zerubbabel;

Zerubbabel’s father was Shealtiel;

Shealtiel’s father was Neri;

Neri’s father was Melchi;

Melchi’s father was Addi;

Addi’s father was Cosam;

Cosam’s father was Elmadam;

Elmadam’s father was Er;

Er’s father was Joshua;

Joshua’s father was Eliezer;

Eliezer’s father was Jorim;

Jorim’s father was Matthat;

Matthat’s father was Levi;

Levi’s father was Simeon;

Simeon’s father was Judah;

Judah’s father was Joseph;

Joseph’s father was Jonam;

Jonam’s father was Eliakim;

Eliakim’s father was Melea;

Melea’s father was Menna;

Menna’s father was Mattatha;

Mattatha’s father was Nathan;

Nathan’s father was David;

David’s father was Jesse;

Jesse’s father was Obed;

Obed’s father was Boaz;

Boaz’s father was Salmon;

Salmon’s father was Nahshon;

Nahshon’s father was Amminadab;

Amminadab’s father was Admin;

Admin’s father was Arni;

Arni’s father was Hezron;

Hezron’s father was Perez;

Perez’s father was Judah;

Judah’s father was Jacob;

Jacob’s father was Isaac;

Isaac’s father was Abraham;

Abraham’s father was Terah;

Terah’s father was Nahor;

Nahor’s father was Serug;

Serug’s father was Reu;

Reu’s father was Peleg;

Peleg’s father was Eber;

Eber’s father was Shelah;

Shelah’s father was Cainan;

Cainan’s father was Arphaxad;

Arphaxad’s father was Shem;

Shem’s father was Noah;

Noah’s father was Lamech;

Lamech’s father was Methuselah;

Methuselah’s father was Enoch;

Enoch’s father was Jared;

Jared’s father was Mahalaleel;

Mahalaleel’s father was Cainan;

Cainan’s father was Enos;

Enos’s father was Seth;

Seth’s father was Adam;

Adam’s father was God.


  1. Luke 3:3 preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned to God and away from their sins, in order to be forgiven, or “preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins.”
  2. Luke 3:13 Roman, implied.
  3. Luke 3:16 of being his slave, literally, “of loosing [the sandal strap] of his shoe.”

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