2nd Sunday in Advent - Series C
Luke 3:1–14 (15–20)
The Preaching of Repentance Prepares Us for the Coming of the Lord
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to make ready the way of Your only –begotten Son, that by His coming we may be enabled to serve You with pure minds; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The preaching and baptism “of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3) prepare us for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The historic work of John the Baptist was completed with the first Advent of our Lord Jesus in the flesh, but the ministry of the Forerunner continues in the preaching of Law and Gospel and in Holy Baptism. Through His messengers, the Lord calls people of all nations to “see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6). Our haughtiness is removed, and our mountains of pride are brought low, but the Lord humbles us in order to exalt us in His mercy. As the Lord has begun this good work of repentance in us, so also does He perfect it by His Word and Holy Spirit, and He “will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). He purifies us to be His priestly people, precious in His sight, abounding in faith and love, so that we offer our very lives in righteousness to the Lord (Malachi 3:3–4).
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Ἐν ἔτει δὲ πεντεκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς ἡγεμονίας Τιβερίου Καίσαρος, ἡγεμονεύοντος Ποντίου Πιλάτου τῆς Ἰουδαίας, καὶ τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς Γαλιλαίας Ἡρῴδου, Φιλίππου δὲ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ τετρααρχοῦντος τῆς Ἰτουραίας καὶ Τραχωνίτιδος χώρας, καὶ Λυσανίου τῆς Ἀβιληνῆς τετρααρχοῦντος,
V.1 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,
ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως Ἅννα καὶ Καϊάφα, ἐγένετο ῥῆμα θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱὸν ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ.
V.2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
καὶ ἦλθεν εἰς [a]πᾶσαν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου κηρύσσων βάπτισμα μετανοίας εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν,
V.3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
ὡς γέγραπται ἐν βίβλῳ λόγων Ἠσαΐου τοῦ [b]προφήτου• Φωνὴ βοῶντος ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ• Ἑτοιμάσατε τὴν ὁδὸν κυρίου, εὐθείας ποιεῖτε τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ.
V.4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[a] make his paths straight.
a. or “crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord.”
πᾶσα φάραγξ πληρωθήσεται καὶ πᾶν ὄρος καὶ βουνὸς ταπεινωθήσεται, καὶ ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς [c]εὐθείαν καὶ αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας•
V.5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,
καὶ ὄψεται πᾶσα σὰρξ τὸ σωτήριον τοῦ θεοῦ.
V.6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Ἔλεγεν οὖν τοῖς ἐκπορευομένοις ὄχλοις βαπτισθῆναι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ• Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν, τίς ὑπέδειξεν ὑμῖν φυγεῖν ἀπὸ τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς;
V.7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τῆς μετανοίας• καὶ μὴ ἄρξησθε λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς• Πατέρα ἔχομεν τὸν Ἀβραάμ, λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι δύναται ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων ἐγεῖραι τέκνα τῷ Ἀβραάμ
V.8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.
ἤδη δὲ καὶ ἡ ἀξίνη πρὸς τὴν ῥίζαν τῶν δένδρων κεῖται• πᾶν οὖν δένδρον μὴ ποιοῦν καρπὸν καλὸν ἐκκόπτεται καὶ εἰς πῦρ βάλλεται.
V.9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Καὶ ἐπηρώτων αὐτὸν οἱ ὄχλοι λέγοντες• Τί οὖν [d]ποιήσωμεν;
V.10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ [e]ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς• Ὁ ἔχων δύο χιτῶνας μεταδότω τῷ μὴ ἔχοντι, καὶ ὁ ἔχων βρώματα ὁμοίως ποιείτω.
V.11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[b] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”
b. χιτῶνας “chiton,” a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin
ἦλθον δὲ καὶ τελῶναι βαπτισθῆναι καὶ εἶπαν πρὸς αὐτόν• Διδάσκαλε, τί [f]ποιήσωμεν;
V.12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς• Μηδὲν πλέον παρὰ τὸ διατεταγμένον ὑμῖν πράσσετε.
V.13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”
ἐπηρώτων δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ στρατευόμενοι λέγοντες• [g]Τί ποιήσωμεν καὶ ἡμεῖς; καὶ εἶπεν [h]αὐτοῖς• Μηδένα διασείσητε μηδὲ συκοφαντήσητε, καὶ ἀρκεῖσθε τοῖς ὀψωνίοις ὑμῶν.
V.14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
The Father sent John to prepare people for the acceptance of Jesus Christ. If there is no sense of sin can there be a need for a Savior? If there is no repentance there can be no forgiveness. If there is no death to self there can be no new life. Because John is the prophet who prepares for the Savior's coming Jesus calls him the greatest of all of the prophets. John gives us a good dose of reality.
1. To make us aware of sin.
2. To lead us to repentance.
Jesus came to earth to take unto Himself our flesh. He came to be your substitute. He came to suffer and die for the sins of the world. He came offer you forgiveness and life. That is why we can say that in Jesus Christ, all sin is forgiven - period!
Are you ready for Christmas? If you see your sin, repent, and turn to Christ for life you are ready. Lord, by your Advent may we be, fit and ready to worship Thee.
ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software