Jamieson Commentary on St. Luke 3:7-22
From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).
10-14. What shall we do then?—to show the sincerity of our repentance. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
11. two coats—directed against the reigning avarice. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
12. publicans, &c. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
13. Exact no more, &c.—directed against that extortion which made the publicans a byword. (See on Lu 19:2; Lu 19:8). (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
14. soldiers … Do violence to none—The word signifies to "shake thoroughly," and so to "intimidate," probably in order to extort money or other property. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
accuse … falsely—acting as informers vexatiously, on frivolous or false grounds.
content with your wages—"rations." We may take this as a warning against mutiny, which the officers attempted to suppress by largesses and donations [Webster and Wilkinson]. And thus the "fruits" which would evidence their repentance were just resistance to the reigning sins, particularly of the class to which the penitent belonged, and the manifestation of an opposite spirit.
15-17. whether he were the Christ—showing both how successful he had been in awakening the expectation of Messiah's immediate appearing, and the high estimation, and even reverence, which his own character commanded. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
16. John answered—either to the deputation from Jerusalem (see Joh 1:19, &c.), or on some other occasion, simply to remove impressions derogatory to his blessed Master which he knew to be taking hold of the popular mind. (Also see on Mt 3:10.)
saying unto them all—in solemn protestation. So far from entertaining such a thought as laying claim to the honors of Messiahship, the meanest services I can render to that "Mightier than I that is coming after me," are too high an honor for me. Beautiful spirit, distinguishing this servant of Christ throughout!
one mightier than I—"the Mighter than I."
18. many other things, &c.—such as we read in Joh 1:29, 33, 34; 3:27-36. (Also see on Mt 3:12.)
19, 20. But Herod, &c.—See on Mr 6:14, &c. (Also see on Mt 3:12.)
and for all the evils which Herod had done—important fact here only mentioned, showing how thoroughgoing was the fidelity of the Baptist to his royal hearer, and how strong must have been the workings of conscience in that slave of passion when, notwithstanding such plainness, he "did many things and heard John gladly" (Mr 6:20, 26).
20. Added yet, &c.—(Also see on Mt 3:12).
Lu 3:21, 22. Baptism of and Descent of the Spirit upon Jesus.
(See on Mt 3:13-17.)
21. when all the people were baptized—that He might not seem to be merely one of the crowd. Thus, as He rode into Jerusalem upon an ass, "whereon yet never man sat" (Lu 19:30), and lay in a sepulchre "wherein was never man yet laid" (Joh 19:41), so in His baptism He would be "separate from sinners."
Lu 3:23-38. Genealogy of Jesus.
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