St. Luke 3: 1-17; 1Thessalonians 1 (- 10)

Dec. 19, 2021

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

4As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

6And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

7Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

10And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

11He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

12Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

13And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

14And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

15And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

16John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

17Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

1Thess Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;

3Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

4Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

5For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

6And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:

7So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

8For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

What a lot of information in these two Bible citations! There’s geography, politics, John the Baptist whose coming was prophesied in Isaiah 40:3-5, Jews and Gentiles – and both the Luke and the 1Thess references look toward the Second Coming of Jesus.

That wee One in the manger, sleeping that peaceful sleep of all infants, is the fulfillment of the prophesies of the Old Testament. In Him is our salvation and our hope of heaven. “And He will come again in glory to judge both the quick and the dead. And His kingdom shall have no end.”

But right now, we await His wonderous birth …

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