One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus Himself was baptized. As He was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on Him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are My dearly loved Son, and You bring Me great joy. ” Jesus was about thirty years old when He began His public ministry.Luke 3:21-23
He was (so it was thought) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, ~ . . . ~ Adam was the son of God.Luke 3:23~38
Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where He was tempted by the devil for forty days.Luke 4:1-2
Notice the flow of the text above. On one particular day Jesus was baptized while God the Father and God the Holy Spirit seal the moment divinely. His baptism is a prelude to the beginning of His ministry. We are then told that when He was about 30 (approaching 30) He began His ministry. Then at this point Luke inserts his genealogy. Why doesn’t Luke place it at the beginning of his gospel like Matthew does? Why does Luke take Christ’s genealogy all the way back to Adam? Why does Luke call Him “Jesus” while Matthew calls Him “Jesus the Messiah” (Jesus Christ)? And Matthew finishes his genealogy with a repetition of His name again only this time it is “Jesus who is called Messiah” and then again ‘This is how Jesus the Messiah was born.” Luke just refers to Him as Jesus with no other title. Why the differences? Remember Luke’s is the ordered, reasoned, structured Gospel.
Do you see that all of this becomes the prelude to Jesus ministry? At this point and after the temptations Luke gets straight into Jesus ministry on earth. Now Jesus has been placed front and centre in the focal point of this story – His story. Luke has dispensed with all the side stories, rather he focused on the central character in the narrative. So the baptism, the timing of his age approaching 30, the approval by Father, the link to Son and the approval of the Holy Spirit are all part of the setting the scene for His ministry.
I am going to leave you with my comments so far and give you a day to sort out what you think. Answer the questions and see what you can do to put the scene together before we start. We all tend to look at the Bible chopped up in bits. But we must be more prepared to put the pieces together and see the bigger picture. Look in this case what Luke is doing with where he places his genealogy, right at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry.
I warn you now when we start the next section , the temptation of Jesus, you will have to take note of all the details. Make all the comparisons you can. Pay attention to all the detail. We have not worked on a synoptic gospel before in the context of Bible Gems. Does that give you a clue as to what to do? Do what we have been doing with the genealogies now with the temptation of Jesus. Make comparisons, notice how the pieces flow together. You will come to understand that much more. Take note of what Matthew and Luke include together and take note what is unique to each one. In that way you will come to understand Luke’s purpose more clearly. Compare it with Mark too but in the case of temptation narrative it is not too helpful because Mark’s is very short. Just getting you ready for the next stage.
Studying one of the synoptic gospels give us a whole new line of comparison. That is partly the reason why I chose to do a synoptic gospel. The reason I chose Luke is because it goes with Acts too, among other reasons.
I will leave you now to ponder.
God is always present, but we are not always paying attention.Joyce Meyer
People always make time for what they want to do; it’s not really time that’s lacking, it’s WILL!Rick Godwin
You can’t make the same mistake twice, the second time, it’s not a mistake, it’s a choice.Will Smith
Do something for somebody every day for which you do not get paid.Albert Schweitzer