Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming
LK3:15 Now the people were in great expectation and everyone was wondering in their hearts regarding John, whether he might be the Christ. LK3:16 So then John told them all: “I baptize you with water, but someone is coming who is stronger than me – someone I am not worthy to even untie his sandal straps – he will baptize you with holy Pneuma and with fire. LK3:17 His winnowing tool is in his hand and he is ready to clean out his threshing floor [Micah 4:12] to gather the wheat into his barn. The chaff [Psalm 1:4] he will burn up in a fire that cannot be put out. [Isaiah 66:24]
 Great expectation: Or, suspense, on tiptoe. There was a strong messianic spirit of anticipation at the beginning of the 1st Century. Compare Luke 19:11.
 I am not worthy: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark 1:7.
- The Wheat and the Chaff (graceofourlord.com)
The baptisms performed by John the baptist, the truth in his preaching, and the authoritative warnings of the urgency of repentance were just some of the things that made the people who witnessed it all (and, no doubt, many who simply had heard about him) wonder if he was the Messiah that had been promised to come since the beginning (Genesis 3:15). Indeed, Luke 3:15 points out that many must have desperately wanted him to be “the one.” But verse 16 tells us how John answered that question:
“I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Rather than being something positive for Christ’s followers, the baptism by fire is the judgment for the unbelievers, with the unbelievers represented by “chaff” in that verse. Chaff is the dry, scaly, inedible casing of seed or grain. Before the invention of the threshing machine in the latter part of the 18th century, threshing was often done by placing the sheaves on the threshing floor and beating them or running over them. It was the most labor intensive part of the harvest. Afterward, the wheat would be separated by winnowing, often done with a winnowing fork by tossing the grain into the wind so that the chaff would be blown away. The chaff was often burned then to dispose of it.
- In those days: John’s Baptism (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
In the gospel accounts all of John’s words (except the word against Antipas) are spoken to persons seeking this baptism. His words show that John was unreceptive to those whom he judged to have bad faith, while he was friendly to those who were truly repentant. To the former he repeated threats and warnings and perhaps added new ones, while to the latter he gave hope for further dramatic renewal of their lives as well as ethical guidance relevant to their particular vocations. The former group seems to have been made up of people whose commonality was lording power over the common people: the religious leadership, the wealthy, the tax collectors and soldiers.
- In those days: some notes (friarmusings.wordpress.com)
The Pharisees and Sadducees are warned that mere ritual is inadequate and will not preserve them from God’s wrath. Rather they must do good deeds that are appropriate to genuine repentance in view of the coming kingdom. Producing fruit as a metaphor for a repentant lifestyle occurs elsewhere in Matthew (3:10; 7:16–20; 12:33; 13:8, 23, 26; 21:19) and is common in the OT (Ps 1:3; Isa 3:10; 5:1–7; Hos 10:1). The image of Israel as the tree from which fruit is expected echoes Hosea 9:16; Isaiah 27:6; Jeremiah 12:2, 17:8; and Ezekiel 17:8-9, 23.
Matthew 3:12 winnowing fan… threshing floor…gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn: The discrimination between the good and the bad is compared to the procedure by which a farmer separates wheat and chaff. The winnowing fan was a forklike shovel with which the threshed wheat was thrown into the air. The kernels fell to the ground; the light chaff, blown off by the wind, was gathered and burned up. The scene echoes OT passages such as Ps 1:4; Prov 20:26; Isa 41:14–16; Jer 15:7; 51:33; Dan 2:35; Hos 6:11; 13:3; Joel 3:13; and Mic 4:12–13.
- The Baptism of Discipleship II (followingjesustogether.org)
The baptism of discipleship is an act of obedience and a declaration of allegiance. Those who follow Jesus in baptism announce their decision to follow him. They declare their allegiance to him as Lord. They symbolize their death to themselves by being buried (submerged) and then raised to walk in the life of Jesus. (Note: I’m not saying “lifestyle” of Jesus. I’m saying the indwelling, imparted life of Jesus in us. We live by him. (Of course this will determine your lifestyle.)
- Fire and the Kingdom of Heaven (wsforchrist.com)
His shovel is ready in his hand, to winnow His threshing-floor and gather the wheat into His granary; but He will burn the chaff on a fire that can never go out.” John was revealing Jesus.
As we repent behavior that is unacceptable to God, the thoughts that preceded that behavior are cleansed via a purifying fire, and washed away with our Holy Baptism. Once cleansed, we each have the opportunity to start anew, never to commit that sin again.
- John the Baptist and the Pharisees (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
John’s baptism differed from sacramental Baptism, which confers forgiveness and the regenerating grace of justifying faith (Acts 2:38). His was a visible token of repentance and preparation for the Messiah (cf. Is 1:16; Heb9:10; CCC 718).
with fire: A symbol of God and his purifying judgment (Deut 4:24; Sir 2:5; Is 4:3-5; Acts 2:3-4; CCC 696).
- Walk in victory with Jesus : Day one (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.10 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
- “Bear Fruits In Keeping With …” Bible Reading Thoughts for March 12th (therugbychristadelphians.wordpress.com)
“His winnowing fork (used in harvesting) is in his hands to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” [v.17] Chaff are ears of wheat that are useless, they have failed to produce; how much chaff can God see in the world today!! Let us make sure we are not among the chaff! Let us all “bear good fruit” for John also preached, “Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”[v.9] Bearing good fruit should – indeed – must be – a labour of love for our Lord – before the harvest time occurs. What wonders then follow!