The Ministry of John the Baptist.
(Read Luke 3:1-22)
Luke gives the historical account of the ministry of John the Baptist (Luke 3:1). He went into the region around the Jordan and preached the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Repentance means turning away from sin and back to God. His ministry was to prepare the way for Christ. John preached that the judgment of God was imminent upon those who don’t repent. The tax collectors, the soldiers and multitude responded to his message. Many wondered whether John could be the Christ. John said to them “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire”. The baptism with the fire refers to future judgment (Luke 3:17). King Herod Antipas imprisoned John for reproving him for marrying his brother's wife. There is both a true and a false kind of repentance (2 Cor 7:10). True repentance is a matter of heart. False kind of repentance has only the appearance of devotion to God. God’s forgiveness is freely given to those who repent of their sins and believe in Christ. The baptism of Jesus in Jordan was unique because he had no sin to repent. It was to fulfill all righteousness and a pledge of his death and resurrection for the sin of the world. Jesus was willing to identify with sinners. Also it marked the beginning of his ministry. When Jesus got baptized, the heaven opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. God the Father testified audibly regarding Christ that “You are my beloved Son, and I am well pleased with you". All three persons of Godhead appeared here (Luke 9:35; John 12:28). To know more read notes on Matthew 3:1-11.
The Genealogy of Jesus.
(Read Luke 3:23-38)
Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. Christ’s genealogy in the Luke’s gospel is different in several ways. Matthew traces it to Abraham through the line of David so that he could claim the throne of David. Luke however gives Mary’s blood line backward from her father Heli to Adam. Mary also was a descendant of King David. Jesus’ genealogy demonstrates that his blood line began with Adam. This allowed Jesus to claim the throne as a true human descendant of David, and as the adopted heir of the kingly line of Joseph. God orchestrated history so that his promises would unfold through history until Jesus was born. Jesus has come at last to bring the redemption story to its fulfillment (Ephesians 1:7-10). The history of redemption through Christ does not exist as a series of random events. God accomplished every purpose he intended for our redemption through Christ. There is no greater power in the universe than the power of God. God works all thing together for his glory and for our good. To know more about Jesus’ genealogy, read notes on Matthew 1:1-16.