Rev. Rick Jones, chaplain and director of spiritual life at the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Minot, ND, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Luke 3:1-20.
Jumping forward almost twenty years, St. Luke once again sets the historical context. A different emperor reigns in Rome, but the same God who spoke His Word though the prophets of the Old Testament reading now speaks His Word through John, the forerunner of the Christ. John’s preaching in the wilderness fulfills the Word of the Lord spoken by Isaiah the prophet. By including a longer quotation than the other evangelists, St. Luke reminds us that Jesus has come to bring salvation to all flesh. John’s preaching of repentance is to all, but it is not a matter of mere moral improvement. He calls everyone to turn from sins to the coming Savior. The fruit of repentance shows in specific ways in specific vocations, even in vocations that we might not expect to listen to John. As the expectation of the crowd bubbles up concerning John, he is clear to set the record straight that he is not the Christ, but the Christ is coming. This makes John a preacher of good news, and yet, it earns him the same persecution as all the prophets who came before him.
“The Beloved Physician’s Orderly Account” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Evangelist wrote his well-researched account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection so that Theophilus would have certainty concerning the things he had been taught. As we still read the Word of God recorded by St. Luke, our gracious Lord gives us that same certainty that Jesus is our Savior.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 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, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 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.
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,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
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? 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. 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.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 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.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 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.”
15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org