Other Accounts of What You Read in Luke 3
Understanding the Scriptures
|Tetrarch (v. 1)||Ruler or governor|
|Remission (v. 3)||Forgiveness|
|The wrath to come (v. 7)||The coming judgments of God|
|Fruits worthy of repentance (v. 8)||Actions that demonstrate true repentance|
|Ax is laid unto the root of the trees (v. 9)||See “Understanding the Scriptures” for Matthew 3:10 (p. 12)|
|Hewn (v. 9)||Cut|
|Publicans (v. 12)||Tax collectors|
|Exact (v. 13)||Take, collect|
|Content (v. 14)||Satisfied|
|Mused (v. 15)||Thought about|
|Latchet (v. 16)||Laces or straps|
|Fan (v. 17)||A tool or instrument used to separate wheat kernels from their lighter outer shell (chaff) that is not eaten|
|Purge his floor (v. 17)||Clean his place of harvesting|
|Exhortation (v. 18)||A speech to encourage and strengthen|
|Reproved (v. 19)||Scolded, rebuked|
Luke 3:8–9—“We Have Abraham to Our Father”
The Lord made great promises to Abraham because of his faithfulness (see Genesis 13:14–17; Abraham 2:8–11). Many Jews believed that they would be saved simply because they were the descendants of Abraham (see JST,Luke 3:13). John the Baptist told them that if they did not repent, they would be cut down like useless trees. This teaching emphasized that we will be judged by our works, and that only the righteous receive eternal life.
Luke 3:19–20—What Had Herod Done Wrong?
Luke 3:19–20 refers to Herod Antipas, the tetrarch. He was the son of Herod the Great, whom you read about in Matthew 2. Herod Antipas left his first wife to marry his niece Herodias, who had been married to his brother Philip. Such a marriage was against the law of Moses (see Leviticus 20:21). When John the Baptist called him to repent, Herod had John thrown into prison.
Studying the Scriptures
Do the three following activities (A–C) as you study Luke 3.
John Prepares the Way
Review Luke 3:7–14 and list the “fruits worthy of repentance” that John told the people to “bring forth” (v. 8).
Write about how each of these fruits would help us prepare to meet the Savior.
What Should We Do?
After John the Baptist taught the people that every tree that would not grow good fruit would be cut down and “cast into the fire” (Luke 3:9), the people asked, “What shall we do then?” (v. 10). John then gave some examples of what it meant to bring forth good fruit.
List what John suggested for:
People with food and clothing
Based on what John taught, write what you think he would suggest today for:
Teenagers at school
Children living with their parents
Choose a Symbol
Explain what each of the following words found in Luke 3:7–18 could symbolize in the message or mission of John the Baptist: vipers, stones, fruit, roots, shoes, wheat.
Choose one of the above symbols that people you know would be least likely to relate to. Think of a different symbol that people in your area might better understand. Describe how you would use it to teach a principle John taught.