The Book of Luke, John the Baptist, Part XI Ė Lesson 33
The first three chapters of Luke are foundational chapters.
Luke has been very careful to record events that are important to establishing the legitimacy of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we are to recognize as accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah the foundations for that recognition must be laid and Luke has done that in his first three chapters.
How important foundations are.
The building of foundations are usually the slowest part of construction and the most unexciting.
And foundations are hidden and usually buried but without the proper foundation the building will fail.
So we must understand the foundations that Luke has laid in order to have a proper understanding of the remainder of the book of Luke.
Luke has told us of the angelic announcements of the the births of the forerunner of Christ and Christ, the miraculous virgin conception of Jesus Christ, he has given us a glimpse of a 12 years oldís recognition of Godís call on his life and he records for us in chapter three the coronation of Jesus Christ as King of Israel and the necessary genealogy of the Messiah.
I want to pick up where I left off last week in discussing this great and necessary beginning event in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Look at: Luke 3:21-38, Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
The expression God used in this passage ďin Thee I am well-pleased,Ē is significant in our understanding of what is taking place here, because it is an expression used in the Old Testament in describing the ruler or king to come.
Similar words were given to Isaiah by the Holy Spirit when we are told to consider or behold Godís servant:
Isa. 42:1-4, Behold my servant,
Paul said it this way in Hebrews, Looking unto Jesus,
Zacchaeus sought to see Jesus who he was
Jesus Christ is whom we are to behold, not our ministry, not our church, not our organization, not each other, but Jesus Christ!
whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. 2He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. 3A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. 4He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
In this prophecy, Godís Servant who is Israelís Messiah, is the One in Whom God delights, and He is also the One on Whom the Spirit will come (I have put my spirit upon him) (42:1).
The evidence is clear in the Old Testament to indicate that the proclamation of the Father to the ear of John the Baptist, along with the decending of the Holy Spirit upon him like a dove, clearly designated Jesus as the King of Israel, and empowered Him for the task which was before Him.
Samuel was the first of the Old Testament prophets in the line of prophets, and the one whom God chose to annoint Saul and David as King of Israel.
Both Saul and David were annointed by Godís man and empowered by the Holy Spirit to sit on the throne of Israel and exercise the authority of king.
And John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets, was also given this privilege and he played a part in identifying the Lord Jesus Christ as Godís King of Israel at the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.
One of Godís principles is that all things are done decently and in order.
The order of things is that Jesus Christ entered his ministry as the King of Israel and he performed all of his ministry with the God given authority as the King of Israel.
His ministry was to explain and define what his kingdom would be.
This foundational truth is paramount to the rightly dividing of the word of truth.
As our Lord began His public ministry, the fact that He was the King of Israel was acknowledged by Nathaniel, and recorded by John in John 1:49, Ö.Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
It is obvious that this pronouncement took place after the baptism because the baptism is referred to by John the Baptist in John 1:32 and prior to Nathanielís declaration.
So Johnís baptism of Jesus Christ was unlike any other that he preformed and was given of God to annoint Jesus Christ as the King of Israel.
It was an act of consecration and dedication and preceded the coming of the empowering Holy Spirit and was the event that announced the beginning of the Kingís reign.
The remainder of Lukeís gospel provides the response of Israel to the claim of Christ to be their King.
In chapter four, Jesus presented Himself as the King, which was initially welcomed, but was then rejected when the fuller implications of His coming were explained (Luke 4:16:-30).
Jesus presented Himself (just as the Old Testament prophets had) as the King who would come to deliver the oppressed and the downtrodden, including the Gentiles.
This was simply too much for the Jews, who sought to kill Him after hearing of this (Luke 4:23-29).
They wanted a king, but on their own terms.
It is no different today for most want to go to heaven but they want to go on their own terms.
But in many ways, Jesus spelled out the meaning of His kingship and of His kingdom.
When we read the Gospels we need to always keep in mind that we are reading about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
On many occasions He told the multitudes that the kingdom of God was at hand.
This is what he was announcing.
The Sermon on the Mount of Luke 6 was a clarification of what the kingdom was to be like.
And opposition began to grow in proportion to an awareness of what Christís kingdom was to be like.
No one could deny that our Lord had power, but as His message began to be rejected, His power was attributed to Satan.
Christís power was proof of His claim to be Israelís king.
But ultimately, Israel rejected Her king.
He came unto his own but his own received him not!
They even crucified Him on charges that He claimed to be their king (Luke 23:2), and rejected Him as their King by saying, ďWe have no king but CaesarĒ (John 19:15).
God bore witness to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, and Israelís King at His baptism and he verified this witness of his kingship by raising Him from the dead, and sitting Him at His right hand.
When the Spirit came upon the newly born church at Pentecost, Peter preached, demonstrating that Jesus was the King of Israel, and that God had raised Him from the dead.
Peter forcefully proclaimed this conclusion in Acts 2:36,
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ as King is now at the right hand of the Father, and He is going to return, to subdue His enemies and to establish His kingdom.
It is no wonder that fear came upon the crowds and many professed Christ as their Savior and King on the day of Pentecost.
When the Jewish religious leaders forbade the followers of our Lord to preach the gospel, the church viewed this as a rebellion against Christ as Israelís King.
Their words reveal that they see these events as fulfilling the words of the psalmist in Psalm 2, which speaks of the Christ as Godís King:
Acts 4:24b-26, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: 25Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
And Luke connects this important coronation event of Luke chapter 3 which establishes Jesus Christ as Israelís king and as Godís son, with the genealogy of Jesus Christ which establishes Jesus Christ as Manís son or another way of putting it as the Son of Man.
Right here in chapter 3 we see Jesus Christ as Son of God and as Son of Man.
Luke finds it important to establish Jesus Christ as a man and we also ought to find it important.
For only a man can be a substitute for me for only men have blood that must be shed.
Luke has carefully given us the root of Jesus Christ from the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ would not have been a God approved Lamb of God had he been an angel or some other created being.
Manís sin problem was manís sin problem and it could not be solved by an angel.
God has so degreed that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin.
Blood is in man and only manís blood would satisfy a Holy God who had declared to Adam in Gen 2:17, But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
God had promised in the Garden of Eden to bruise the head of Satan with the seed of the woman.
The seed of the woman is a man and that man has come on the scene in Jesus Christ
Gen 3:14-15, And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
So Luke finds it important to establish Jesus Christ as a man and he does so by giving us a careful listing of the line of Jesus Christ all the way back to Adam.
In doing so Luke presents Jesus Christ as the Savior of the race.
He carefully includes him in the line of Abraham, the father of faith, and David, in whose line the King of Israel would be according to prophesy and also Judah, from which the Messiah would come.
The genealogy of Jesus Christ given here in Luke is controversial as to what line it depicts.
Many say that it is the line of Mary while the genealogy given in Matthew is in the line of Joseph.
The reasoning is very technical and I wonít go into it.
It is for you to study if you are led.
But this genealogy follows the declaration by God, Thou art my beloved son, in thee I am well pleased.
As we can see by comparing Lukeís genealogy with that of Matthew, there are considerable differences.
They are not only placed in different locations in the gospel, but Lukeís genealogy runs back from Christ to Adam.
While Matthewís runs forward from Abraham to Christ.
Both genealogies are the same from Abraham to David but after David they depart because from David on Maryís line is through Nathan, Davidís son and Josephís line is through Solomon, also Davidís son.
But the important thing to see is that in both genealogies David is the beginning point and Luke is careful to show that Jesus Christ is in the line of David for the Messiah must come from that line.
The baptism of Christ identifies Christ as Israelís king, and demonstrates that He has the Fatherís appointment and the Spiritís anointing.
The genealogy shows that our Lord has the right lineage, that He is indeed of the ďthrone of David.Ē
Luke, in many ways, shows that our Lord Jesus Christ is the only one qualified for the task He has been given.
All Scripture points to this man Jesus Christ. There can be no other man which Scripture endorses.
The anointing baptism that took place with John and the proclamation by the Father himself verifies the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God and the only one who is up to the task that God had called him to do.
In the baptism of Jesus, both the Father and the Spirit bear testimony to this.
The genealogy shows that Jesus Christ is one with man, and that He is also of the lineage of Judah and David and from the father of faith, Abraham.
Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God and the Son of Man and the God anointed King of Israel.