The Prophet Preparing the Way
The Prophet Preparing the Way - Luke 3:1-20
John the Baptist’s Ministry (vv. 1-6)
- The historical setting for John’s ministry (1-2a)
John’s ministry also began in the time of Annas and Caiaphas. Annas was the high priest from A.D. 6 to A.D. 15 but was deposed by the Roman authorities. Eventually his son-in-law, Caiaphas, was placed in the position (A.D. 18–36). The Jews continued to recognize Annas as the rightful high priest though Caiaphas functioned in that role
It may be worth pointing out that when Jesus was arrested he was first brought to Annas (John 18:13).
- John breaks on the scene as a prophet sent from God (2b)
- John practices a unique baptism (3)
- John fulfills a prophecy from Isaiah (4-6)
When a king traveled the desert, workmen preceded him to clear debris and smooth out the roads to make his trip easier. In Luke the leveling of the land was a figurative expression denoting that the way of the Messiah would be made smooth because through John a large number of people were ready to receive Jesus’ message
John’s Preaching on Judgment & Repentance (vv. 7-14)
- John warns of judgment and calls for repentance (7-9)
Vipers (e.g., the Nicander’s viper) were commonly believed to eat their way out of their mother’s womb; thus John’s calling the crowd “viper’s offspring” was even nastier than calling them “vipers.”
- John gives examples of the fruit of true repentance (10-14)
John’s teaching was that one’s life proves whether or not he has truly repented
John told the people to be (a) generous (3:11), (b) honest (v. 13), and (c) content (v. 14).