Luke chapter 3

John the Baptist prepares the way. Jesus gets baptized. The ancestors of Jesus.





VERSE 1. Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,

the fifteenth year. That would have been 27 to 29 AD.

Tiberius Caesar. He reigned from 14 AD to 37 AD.

Pontius Pilate. He reigned from 26 to 36 AD.

Herod. He reigned from 4 BC to 39 AD.

Philip. He reigned from 4 BC to 34 AD.


VERSE 2. in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.

Annas. He reigned as high priest from 6 to 15 AD.

Caiaphas. He was the son in law of Annas. He reigned as high priest from 18 to 36 AD.

the word of God came to John … in the wilderness. God did NOT select the famous people. He did not select Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, Annas or Caiaphas.

Rather, God selected an unknown. An obscure person out in the desert: John.

God favors little people, those who are unknown, people who are not powerful.

If you feel too small, too insignificant, or too ill-prepared, welcome to the club! God is ready for you


VERSE 3. He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins.

repentance. The Greek word is μετανοίας (“metanoias”). It means “change of mind.”


VERSE 4. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.

The prophets foresaw the arrival of a messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah. Read more »


VERSE 5. Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.

Isaiah 40:4. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain.

Isaiah 49:11. I will make all my mountains a road, and my highways shall be exalted.


VERSE 6. All flesh will see God’s salvation.’ ”

Isaiah 40:5. The LORD’s glory shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken it.


VERSE 7. He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?


VERSE 8. Therefore produce fruits worthy of repentance, and don’t begin to say among yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father;’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones!

We have Abraham for our father. They felt they were members of the “best” religious sect, and so they did not need to repent. However, John was unimpressed with this. Nobody is exempt from what God calls them to do.


VERSE 9. Even now the ax also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.”

produce good fruit. What good fruit is God calling you to produce?


VERSE 10. The multitudes asked him, “What then must we do?”


VERSE 11. He answered them, “He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise.”


VERSE 12. Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what must we do?”


VERSE 13. He said to them, “Collect no more than that which is appointed to you.”


VERSE 14. Soldiers also asked him, saying, “What about us? What must we do?” He said to them, “Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages.”




VERSE 15. As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ,


VERSE 16. John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,

mightier than I. John knew his place. He knew he was but a bit-player in the drama of salvation. His role was to introduce the Messiah.

Matthew 3:11. I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit [and with fire].

In our era, many Christian leaders forget this. They see themselves as essential in the lives of people. Nonetheless, it is Jesus Christ who is the stronger one. It is he who attacks the kingdom of the devil and overcomes it:

Luke 11:22. But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his plunder.

He will baptize you. This alludes to the mission of Jesus Christ. He will baptize people into the Holy Spirit and fire.

in the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist was given foreknowledge about the future arrival of the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:4. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.

Do you have the Holy Spirit?

and fire. When the Holy Spirit is in your life, you will have FIRE. Are you on fire for the LORD God? If not, how can you get on fire? Read more »


VERSE 17. whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


VERSE 18. Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people,


VERSE 19. but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done,

Herod the tetrarch. A tetrarch is one of four governors of a province.


VERSE 20. added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.


VERSE 21. Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened,

was praying. Jesus spends time in prayer on a regular basis. And also at key moments in his life and ministry.

Luke 5:16. But he withdrew himself into the desert, and prayed.


VERSE 22. and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

You are my beloved Son. This might be an echo of  Psalm 2:7:

Psalm 2:7. I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my son. Today I have become your father.

Luke 3:22. and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form like a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.”

Hebrews 5:5. So also Christ didn’t glorify himself to be made a high priest, but it was he who said to him, “You are my Son. Today I have become your father.”




VERSE 23. Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,

he began to teach. The mission of Jesus Christ includes teaching.

about thirty years old. At this point in the narrative, Jesus was about 30 years old.

being the son (as was supposed). Most people would have imagined Jesus was the son of Joseph the carpenter. But in truth, he was the Son of God the Father.


VERSE 24. the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,


VERSE 25. the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,


VERSE 26. the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,


VERSE 27. the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,


VERSE 28. the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,


VERSE 29. the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,


VERSE 30. the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim,


VERSE 31. the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,


VERSE 32. the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,


VERSE 33. the son of Amminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,


VERSE 34. the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,


VERSE 35. the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,


VERSE 36. the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,


VERSE 37. the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,


VERSE 38. the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

RESOURCES: SummaryOutline, Memorize, Commands, Spirituality

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.