Luke 3:1-5

Luke 3:1 (KJB)
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,

Luke gives an introduction to John’s ministry as a carefully worded arrangement. Luke now lists the rulers which would have a part in the lives of both Jesus and John.

Tiberius Caesar - Ruled Rome (14-37 A.D.)
Pontius Pilate - Prefect of Judaea - (26-36 A.D.)
Herod Antipas - Tetrarch of Galilee (circa 3 B.C - 39 A.D.)
Philip - Tetrarch of Ituraea - (4 B.C. - 34 A.D.)
Lysanias - Tetrarch of Abilene (Abila) - (29 A.D. - 42 A.D.)

Abila was in the was in the area of Decapolis. Tetrarchy of Philip was northeast of the sea of Galilee. Galilee was west of the sea of Galilee. So Luke lists the three main rulers in Galilee and Pontius Pilate in Judea. The main characters were now in place.

Luke 3:2 (KJB)
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Annas was the father in law of Caiaphas who was the ruling high priest at that time. (John 18:13 KJV) And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. Caiaphas ruled as High priest until 36 A.D. It was during this time that John had begun his ministry in the Jordan. John here is called the son of Zacharias which would bring to mind the prophecies spoken to him concerning John.

Luke 3:3 (KJB)
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

John had now come out of the wilderness and started preaching the baptism of repentance. This was more than just preaching the water baptism but it was preaching the call to repentance. Repentance means a change of mind. When we come to the Lord, what we thought of as fun yesterday, we will realize it is sin today and that is what a change of mind is. The change of mind also changes the actions which begin in the mind. If my mind does not condone sin, then my body will not act upon those thoughts.

Luke 3:4 (KJB)
As 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.

This was also a fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah of about 750 years before. (Isa 40:3 KJV) The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. John was the one who fulfilled it because he had cried out with the gospel of repentance and introduction in fulfillment of Isaiah. If we look at Isaiah 40:9, we will see a much clearer picture of the enunciation. (Isa 40:9 KJV) O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Here is a straight declaration of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ who would be coming to Judah.

Luke 3:5 (KJB)
Every 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;

(Isa 40:4 KJV) Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: Here is what the life of salvation in Christ will yield the one who becomes saved. First, every valley will be exalted. Those things in life which have brought us low or placed us in the valley of sin will be done away with and will no longer allow us to live in a valley. The mountains of life which seem to hinder our spiritual progress shall be made low, that is, will be removed so it no longer hinders us. (Mat 21:21 KJV) Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Then the crooked will be made straight. The word “crooked” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “full of obstacles, disorganized, or devious.” It is the word “skolios” where we derive the name of the malady “scoliosis” which normally is a crookedness in the spine. The crooked shall be straightened. Then the rough places will be plain. The word “rough” in the Greek carried with it in ancient times “crude or severe circumstances” such as war or natural disaster. God promises to go through those rough places with us, He never said He will keep us from them, although sometimes He does but He will always be with us when we go through them. (Isa 43:2 KJV) When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.