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Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

LK3:10 So the crowds asked John: “What shall we do?”[1] LK3:11 John told them: “The person with two outer cloaks should share[2] with the person having none, and the person with food should do the same.” LK3:12 Then tax collectors came to be baptized and they asked John: “Teacher, what shall we do?” LK3:13 John told them: “Do not collect more tax than is required by law.”[3] LK3:14 Now soldiers also asked him: “What shall we do?” John answered them: “Do not extort money[4] from anyone, and do not slander any person.[5] Be satisfied with your wages.”[6]


[1] What shall we do: Likely the question is in response to the “fruitage that befits repentance.”

[2] Share: It is interesting to note the first answer to the question, “What shall we do?” The spirit is at the center of what the Nazarene is to teach later. [Luke 6:30-35] The early Christians did this in great measure. [Acts 2, 4, 5] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on “sharing” at Romans 12:13 and 2 Corinthians 8:14.

[3] Do not collect more tax than is required by law: Or, WMS: stop collecting any more than is prescribed for you. Compare an example at Luke 19:8.

[4] Do not extort money: Or, molest no one, rob no one, don’t use threats. It is interesting John does not tell them to leave their military service.

[5] Do not slander any person: Or, blackmail, false accusation, informing. [Exodus 23:1, 7]

[6] Be satisfied with your wages: Or, supplies, provisions. The military is always under paid for what they do.

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Preceding articles:

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Connecting articles:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms

Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News

Next: Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming

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Additional reading:

  1. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  2. Missional hermeneutics 4/5 call to repentance
  3. Bearing fruit
  4. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful
  5. God showing how far He is willing to go to save His children
  6. God receives us on the basis of our faith
  7. Breathing and growing with no heir
  8. Repentance and conversion are not milestones which we pass on the way of life and never see again
  9. Words to push and pull
  10. The Ecclesia
  11. The Ecclesia in the churchsystem
  12. Fellowship
  13. Re-Creating Community
  14. Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace
  15. A man who cannot forgive others
  16. God should be your hope
  17. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

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  • Preparing the Way (graceofourlord.com)
    If this writer kept a “top ten list” of the most important chapters of scripture in the Bible, Luke Chapter 3 would almost certainly be in that list, for reasons that will hopefully become apparent by the end of this blog.
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    All of these things together make up the crux of what John’s commission by God is all about, as far as “to prepare the way” is concerned. This is part of what makes this chapter of Luke one of the most important in the New Testament. There has been no word from God for 400 years – since Malachi foretold the coming of John the Baptist in Malachi 3:1 and 4:5. Now comes John the Baptist, filled with the Holy Spirit and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
  • Leviticus 3-4, Luke 3 (vesselsofclay.org)
    He told them that their lives needed to reflect a passion for the things that pleased God. “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise” (Luke 3:11 ESV). He told the tax collectors to “collect no more than you are authorized to do” (Luke 3:13 ESV). He told the soldiers to “not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages” (Luke 3:14 ESV).John was demanding life change. He was letting them know that their lives were going to have to be distinctively different than what they had been. It wasn’t going to be business as usual. They were to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8 ESV). Things were about to heat up. Expectations were about to ratchet up. He warned them, “even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Luke 3:9 ESV). God’s expectations for holiness hadn’t changed. His demands for a people who would live holy lives and act in accordance with His Word and in keeping with their character as one of His children, had not changed.
  • Matthew 3:1-10, Mark 1:1-6, Luke 3:1-14 (oh-mag.com)
    Now as John sees the Pharisees and Sadducees coming he is indignant and asks who warned them to flee from the coming wrath. He calls them a brood of vipers – not very complimentary – likening them to a mass of evil creatures who have seen the fire approaching. John tells them to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. This is a weighty command. Later in the New Testament we see what this fruit looks like: love, joy, peace, perseverance – all of these things come from a desire to continually repent and seek God in all matters. It is the ultimate way we can know Him as Lord. John then accuses them of their thinking that just because they are Abraham’s seed they will be safe from the fires of Hell. This would have shocked not only the teachers, but the Jewish people as well.
  • Fruit of Repentance (mfmdelaware.wordpress.com)
    The fruit of repentance should be seen in you as a Christian; this is the demand of John in Matt3:8. Ceremonies are by the way, fruit yielding is more important. Through fruits, you salt the world and give light to those in darkness. By your fruit Jesus derives satisfaction, Mark11:12-13. He made them to know that He never came to abolish the law but to fulfill it. In addition, He made them to know that doing the commandments will give you the status of heaven. These are to prepare them for what He was about to teach them; immorality, divorce, tolerance, anger, lack of love, worries etc. these are the areas where human logics are being utilized to excuse the law. He gave detailed explanation to all these areas.
  • “Bear Fruits In Keeping With …” Bible Reading Thoughts for March 12th (therugbychristadelphians.wordpress.com)
    What an incredible impact the preaching of John the Baptist had!  We do not realize this at first – but there are clues here and there – look at Acts 18 v.25 and 19 v.3.  Paul comes across those at Ephesus who knew only the baptism of John– a vast distance from the Jordan.     What stood out in our chapter 3 in Luke today was the bluntness of John’s message; it was far from being simply an appeal to love your neighbour as yourself – which is the substance of the preaching in many churches today.  They had to examine themselves and change their ways and “bear fruits in keeping with repentence” – to put it bluntly, to show they were repentant by actions – not just words.
  • The Gospel of Matthew: The Messiah of Promise 3:1-12 (anchorlongbeach.wordpress.com)
    Although the Greek word for “Repentance” is Metanoia, which carries the idea of a changed mind, theologian D.A. Carson writes; “What is meant is not merely intellectual change of mind or more grief, still less doing penance…but a radical transformation of the entire person, a fundamental turnaround involving mind and action and including overtones of grief, which results in ‘fruit in keeping with repentance.’
  • – The Baptism & Death of Jesus – (hiseternalword.wordpress.com)
    Believer’s baptism is not an act of repentance but an expression of personal identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection. By being baptized, those who are born again announce their severance from their former lives of sin and their possession of a new life in Christ.
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Comments on: "Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”" (4)

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