• Think about places where you see warning signs. Why would people ignore clear warning signs?
  • How can a warning sign also be a path to safety?

John the Baptist gave warning signs to the crowds to whom he preached. Jesus is the promised Messiah who brings judgment.

Luke 3:7-9

Many Jewish religious leaders (Pharisees and Sadducees) were in the crowds that followed John.

  • How do the actions identified by John point to true repentance?
  • Why might John’s words in verses 7-8 have been shocking to his audience?

True repentance is a genuine turning from sin toward God. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (CSB) “and my people,who bear my name, humble themselves, pray and seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

  • How do we “produce fruit consistent with repentance” (v.8)?

His statement “the axe is already at the root of the trees” emphasized God’s judgment was at hand. This could apply to the nation of Israel who were a rebellious people, or “every tree” could indicate an application to individual people.

  • What religious works do people trust to save them in place of faith in Christ and repentance from sin?

John’s message was more than a warning of coming judgment; he pointed the people toward a changed life.

Luke 3:10-14
The crowd asked three times “What should we do?”

  • In what ways does the gospel message always demand a response from people?

How did John show compassion for the poor in his responses to the people’s question.

  • Should compassion for the poor be a test for genuine repentance?

John gave examples for the tax collectors and soldiers to know how to respond to the gospel with practical righteousness.

  • What occupations today might John have listed as examples of fruit of true repentance?

Luke 3:15-18
John carefully chose his words to show that he was not the Christ. John’s warnings were not intended to frighten people.

  • Why should warnings also be couch in the good news of the gospel?
  • Why should the good news of the gospel also include warnings?


  • Review Luke 3:7-18 looking for the directives given by John.
  • How do the actions identified by John point to true repentance?