Luke 3:1-9

Luke 3:1-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming! Clear the road for him! The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’” When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

Luke 3:1-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin; as it is written and forever remains written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “THE VOICE OF ONE SHOUTING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘PREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT. EVERY RAVINE SHALL BE FILLED UP, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE LEVELED; AND THE CROOKED [places] SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH; AND ALL MANKIND SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.’ ” So he began saying to the crowds who were coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath [of God that is] to come? Therefore produce fruit that is worthy of [and consistent with your] repentance [that is, live changed lives, turn from sin and seek God and His righteousness]. And do not even begin to say to yourselves [as a defense], ‘We have Abraham for our father [and so our heritage assures us of salvation]’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children (descendants) for Abraham [for God can replace the unrepentant, regardless of their heritage, with those who are obedient]. Even now the axe [of God’s judgment] is swinging toward the root of the trees; so every tree that does not produce good fruit is being cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Luke 3:1-2-9 The Passion Translation (TPT)

A powerful message from God came to John, Zechariah’s son, when he was living out in the lonely wilderness. This prophetic commission came to John during the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, son of Caesar. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea at that time. Antipas, son of Herod, was governor over Galilee, Herod’s brother Philip was over the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was over Abilene. This happened during the days of two high priests, Annas and Caiaphas. John went preaching and baptizing throughout the Jordan Valley. He persuaded people to turn away from their sins and turn to God for the freedom of forgiveness, fulfilling what was written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: “Listen! You will hear a thunderous voice in the lonely wilderness telling you to wake up and get your heart ready for the coming of the Lord Yahweh. Make straight every twisted thing in your lives. Bring into the light every dark way. Make right every wrong. Remove injustice. Every heart of pride will humbly bow before him. Every deception will be exposed and replaced by the truth to prepare everyone everywhere to see the Life of God!” John kept preaching to the many crowds who came out to be baptized, “You are nothing but the offspring of venomous snakes, full of deception! Who warned you to repent before the coming wrath of God? Then turn away from your sins, turn to God, and let your changed life be proof. Don’t think for a moment that it’s enough to simply be the favored descendants of Abraham. That’s not enough to save you. I’m telling you, God could make more sons of Abraham out of stones if he chose to! “Even now God’s axe of judgment is poised to chop down your barren tree right down to its roots! And every tree that does not produce good fruit will be leveled and thrown into the fire.”