(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
John the Baptizer’s message
- Now, in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign – with Pontius Pilate governing Judea and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother being tetrarch over the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias being tetrarch of Abilene –
- during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God’s word came to Zechariah’s son John in the wilderness.
- And he went into all the region neighboring the Jordan River, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
- as it’s *written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice crying in the wilderness: prepare the Lord’s way, make His paths straight.”
- “Every valley will be filled and every mountain and hill will be brought low; and the crooked will be straight, and the rough ways made into smooth ways.
- “And all flesh will see the salvation of God.”1quotation/allusion to Isaiah 40:3-5
- So he was telling the crowds who are traveling out to be baptized by him: “You offspring of vipers, who forewarned you to flee from the wrath which is about to come.
- “Therefore, produce fruits befitting repentance. And don’t begin to say in yourselves: ‘We have Abraham as a father’, for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones.
- “And also, the axe is already laid near the root of the tree. Therefore, every tree not producing good fruit is cut off and thrown into the fire.”
- And the crowds were questioning him, saying: “So what should we do?”
- And answering, he was telling them: “Let the man who has two tunics share with the man who doesn’t have one, and let the man who has food do the same.”
- And also, some tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him: “Teacher, what should we do?”
- And he said to them: “Collect nothing more beyond the tax which was prescribed for you to collect.”
- And also some men serving as soldiers were asking him: “What should we also do?” And he told them: “You should extort or intimidate2“extort or intimidate” is one word in Greek which can mean either, thus both definitions were included. Further, “intimidate” would mean in the sense of using the threat of force to induce unlawful compliance. no man, nor should you falsely accuse or defraud3“falsely accuse or defraud” is one word in Greek which can mean either, thus both definitions were included. anyone. Also, be satisfied with your wages.”
- And all the people are thinking and reasoning in their hearts about John, whether or not he may be the Anointed.
- John answered, saying to all: “I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I is coming; He who I’m not worthy to untie the strap of His sandal. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.
- “He whose winnowing fork4“winnowing fork” is a literal translation of the Greek word here. A “winnowing fork” is used for “winnowing”. Winnowing is the process of separating the useful/edible grain from the useless chaff. Chaff is the husks and stem fragments of a grain plant that are useless for anything. You “winnow” by using a winnowing fork to throw the mixture up into the air. The wind blows away the lighter chaff, while the heavier grain falls back down to be collected. This process was done on a “threshing floor”, which had to be cleaned prior to use because food was prepared (winnowed) there. is in His hand to thoroughly cleanse His threshing floor and to gather His wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
- So exhorting them with many other things, he was proclaiming the good news to the people.
- But Herod the Tetrarch, being convicted by him concerning Herodias (the wife of his brother) and concerning all the evils that Herod did,
- he also added this on top of all: he confined John in prison.
The baptism and genealogy of Jesus
- Now, it happened that among the baptisms of all the people, Jesus was also baptized. And while He’s praying, heaven was opened
- and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven: “You are My beloved son. In you I am well-pleased.”
- And Jesus was about thirty years old when beginning His ministry, being – as it was supposed – a son of Joseph, son of Heli,
- son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph,
- son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai,
- son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Joseph, son of Judah,
- son of Joannan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri,
- son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er,
- son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi,
- son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim,
- son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,
- son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Salmon, son of Nahshon,
- son of Amminadab, [son of Admin,] son of Ram,5“Ram” some of the manuscripts which “son of Admin” have “Arni” instead of Ram son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah.
- son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor,
- son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Herber, son of Shelah.
- son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech,
- son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan,
- son of Enosh, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.
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