3 It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod’s brother, the ruler of Iturea and Traconitis; and Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 He went all over the area around the Jordan River preaching a baptism of changed hearts and lives for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of Isaiah the prophet:
“This is a voice of one who calls out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord. Make the road straight for him. 5 Every valley should be filled in, and every mountain and hill should be made flat. Roads with turns should be made straight, and rough roads should be made smooth. 6 And all people will know about the salvation of God!’” Isaiah 40:3–5
7 To the crowds of people who came to be baptized by John, he said, “You are all snakes! Who warned you to run away from God’s coming punishment? 8 Do the things that show you really have changed your hearts and lives. Don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘Abraham is our father.’ I tell you that God could make children for Abraham from these rocks. 9 The ax is now ready to cut down the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”[a]
10 The people asked John, “Then what should we do?”
11 John answered, “If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also.”
12 Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 John said to them, “Don’t take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to take.”
14 The soldiers asked John, “What about us? What should we do?”
John said to them, “Don’t force people to give you money, and don’t lie about them. Be satisfied with the pay you get.”
15 Since the people were hoping for the Christ to come, they wondered if John might be the one.
16 John answered everyone, “I baptize you with water, but there is one coming who is greater than I am. I am not good enough to untie his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 He will come ready to clean the grain, separating the good grain from the chaff. He will put the good part of the grain into his barn, but he will burn the chaff with a fire that cannot be put out.”[b]18 And John continued to preach the Good News, saying many other things to encourage the people.
19 But John spoke against Herod, the governor, because of his sin with Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother, and because of the many other evil things Herod did. 20 So Herod did something even worse: He put John in prison.
Jesus Is Baptized by John
21 When all the people were being baptized by John, Jesus also was baptized. While Jesus was praying, heaven opened 22 and the Holy Spirit came down on him in the form of a dove. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “You are my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with you.”
The Family History of Jesus
23 When Jesus began his ministry, he was about thirty years old. People thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son.
Joseph was the son[c] of Heli. 24 Heli was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. Levi was the son of Melki. Melki 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 Joda. 27 Joda was the son of Joanan. Joanan was the son of Rhesa. Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the grandson of Shealtiel. Shealtiel was the son of Neri. 28 Neri was the son of Melki. Melki 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 Jonam. Jonam 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.[d] Salmon was the son of Nahshon. 33 Nahshon 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. 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 Reu. Reu 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 Mahalalel. Mahalalel was the son of Kenan. 38 Kenan was the son of Enosh. Enosh was the son of Seth. Seth was the son of Adam. Adam was the son of God.
3:9The ax . . . fire. This means that God is ready to punish his people who do not obey him.
3:17He will . . . out. This means that Jesus will come to separate good people from bad people, saving the good and punishing the bad.
3:23son “Son” in Jewish lists of ancestors can sometimes mean grandson or more distant relative.
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