Luke 3:11-15

Luke 3:11 (KJB)
He 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.

Then John starts hitting the people where they live and that is with the dispensing of their material goods. John is telling the people that if you have two coats and you see someone who does not have one, then give him the extra coat. If you see somebody hungry and you have lots of food, then give the food to them. John uses food and raiment as examples of the true Christian life because the Christian life is one of sacrifice. (1 John 3:17 KJV) But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? Tangible Christianity is the real thing.

Luke 3:12 (KJB)
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

Then came the publicans who were responsible for collecting the taxes for Rome. They were a hated group because they always took more than what was required. Rome did not care if they did that as long as they were given the amount of taxes which they called for. Since the publicans had collaborated with the Romans, the Jews looked on this as an act of treason. Maybe some of the publicans were having a change of heart and felt guilty for cheating their fellow countrymen.

Luke 3:13 (KJB)
And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

Then John got to the heart of the matter with the publicans. If the Romans had set a specific amount for each family or person to pay, then the tax collectors were not to exact one denarius more than the prescribed amount. They were to live on the wages they received as tax collectors. This meant they would have to give up their lavish lifestyles and live simpler lives.

Luke 3:14 (KJB)
And 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.

It is not written what soldiers these were. They may have been soldiers in the employ of Rome but were the soldiers of Herod, the tetrarch of Galilee or to his brother Philip, since John was baptizing in that area. He gives the soldiers a three-fold exhortation. They were not to do violence to anyone. We read what the Roman soldiers did to Jesus as they mocked Him. These soldiers were not be violent, especially if they pick someone up for questioning. They should not torture them or hurt them. They were also not to make up any false accusations against anyone. Then the soldiers were to be content with their wages and not take any money from anyone to increase their personal wealth. Repentance is not just a one time thing but it is a lifestyle within the Christian life.

Luke 3:15 (KJB)
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

Then as the people were listening to this preacher as he doled out counsel for living a godly life and started wondering whether he was the promised Messiah or not. With the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Greek Seleucids in 165 B.C., it generated a grass-roots call for holiness and they had thought that since John was preaching holy living, that he might be the one they were waiting for.