Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Luke 3:1-6: The Gospel Lectionary Passage for Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is my own translation of the lectionary gospel lesson for Sunday. Please make any comments concerning the passage you want. Together, let's discuss the Word of God:


1And in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and the tetrarch of Galilee was Herod, and Philip his brother was tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, [the] word of God came upon John, the son of Zachariah, in the wilderness. 3And he went into the whole countryside of Judea, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, 4as it had been written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

A voice of one who calls in the wilderness,
‘Make ready the way of the Lord,
make straight his beaten path.
5Every ravine will be filled,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled
and the crooked places will be straightened,
and the rough ways smoothed,
6and all flesh will see the salvation of God.


  1. Again, I think we can look at the material that's unique to Luke, namely the extention of the Isaiah quote.

  2. One summer when I was preaching at First Wheeling a work group working at the Chapel came to church with their Pastor. That Sunday I was preaching a sermon called "NIGHT RIDERS." It was based on the passage in Nehemiah where Nehemiah goes riding out by night to examine the walls and gates of the city. When the service was over the Pastor said to me. "You sure packed a lot into that sermon. I could get two or three sermons out of that material."

    I felt something of what he felt when I came across a passage in the old INTERPRETER'S BIBLE last Saturday.
    I don't usually quote commentaries that most people have, but this was too good to pass up. It deals with the character of John the Baptizer.

    "Instead his message was as swift and straight as lightning. It had the blazing and shadowless intensity of the noonday sun. It was plain that here was a man whose soul was on fire with a flame that came from a source that is higher than the earth. He had gained his convictions, not by piecing together little scraps of human shrewdness and probabilities; he gained those convictions from the direct communion with the reality of the living God. His was the inspiration that comes at rare intervals through the years to the great souls who have lived and meditated on a vast communion as though they belonged not to this world but to an unseen one. Before the eyes of John the show of things dissolved. He foresaw the awful destinies which God should judge; and to his sight the judgement was impending." (IB, vol. 8, p.71a.)

    The expositor went on to comment about the words of Isaiah quoted.

    "...nevertheless, the voice of the great true man can always help to do what Isaiah prophesied. It can help to fill up the valleys of ignorance, to bring down the mountains and hills of stubborn prejudice and pride, to straighten ...[our]...crooked thinking, to smooth the rough ground of instinctive resistance which human nature imposes before the feet of God." (IB, vol. 8. p.72a)

    Parse that.