“To give knowledge of salvation”: Luke’s portrayal of John the baptiser (Luke 3; Advent 2C)

An Informed Faith

In this post, I’m exploring the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday (Luke 3:1–6), as well as the continuation in the following Sunday’s reading (Luke 3:7–18), and looking at the person and the preaching of John the baptiser in this Gospel as a whole (with some helpful comparisons with the earlier Gospel of Mark as well as the Gospel of Matthew).


John the baptiser occupies a prominent place at the start of each canonical gospel. He is there in the very first scene of the beginning of the good news of Jesus, the chosen one(Mark 1:2–8), dunking into the river Jordan those who had heard his message of repentance.

Yes, that’s right: he dunked people into the river! Whilst there is interminable debate about the means by which baptism should take place in the church today (sprinkle, pour, or immerse; once or three times), there is not dispute…

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