Luke 3:1–20

John the Baptist Begins His Ministry

3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,a when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the time of the high priest Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the surrounding region of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight!

Every valley will be filled,

and every mountain and hill will be leveled,

and the crooked will become straight,

and the rough road will become* smooth,

and all flesh will see the salvation of God.’ ”b

Therefore he was saying to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “Offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance! And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! And even now the ax is positioned at the root of the trees; therefore every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds were asking him, saying, “What then should we do?” 11 And he answered and* said to them, “The one who has two tunics must share with the one who does not have one,* and the one who has food must do likewise.” 12 And tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you are ordered to.”c 14 And those who served in the army were also asking him, saying, “What should we also do?” And he said to them, “Extort from no one, and do not blackmail anyone,* and be content with your pay.”

15 And while* the people were waiting expectantly and all were pondering in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he might be the Christ,d 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than I am is coming, of whom I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing shovel is in his hand, to clean out his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his storehouse, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations also he proclaimed good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him concerning Herodias, his brother’s wife, and concerning all the evil deeds that Herod had done, 20 added this also to them all: he also locked up John in prison.

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