Luke Chapter 3:1-38
for this week: Psa 27:7 Hear, O LORD,
when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
We continue our study of
the book of Luke as we cover chapter 3. Last week we studied about
Simeon seeing the Lord in person. He said by seeing the baby
Christ, he knew he had seen the Messiah of Israel and was ready to
die in peace. We closed the book finding Jesus as the age of 12 in
the temple both asking questions and giving answers to the doctors
of the law. They marvelled at His knowledge.
I. The Ministry of John the Baptist
3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of
Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the
region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came
unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
Luke gives us
the dates that people living during this time could easily verify.
John the Baptist is person the least understood person in the Word
of God. Jesus said that of those born of a woman, there was no
greater than John. He was chosen by the Spirit of God to prepare
the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke says his
ministry began in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius
Caesar. It says Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea. Herod was
tetrarch of Galilee. He was a grandson of the infamous Herod who
was responsible for the slaughter of the babies in Bethlehem.
Herodís brother Philip was tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of
Trachonitis. During this time Lysanias was the tetrarch of
Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were high-priests in Judaea.
According to Old Testament Scriptures, how could there be two High
Priests at the same time? There was to be only one high priest and
he was to be succeeded by his son. At this time, everything was out
of order and the high-priesthood was a political position brought
and sold by the Roman conquerors who gave the office to the highest
bidder. Annas was retired later on, and his son-in-law, Caiaphas,
had the position. But they were both recognized as high-priests.
3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the
baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
Now at a time
when there was great confusion, the Word of God tells us that John
the Baptist came on the scene. It had been 30 years since he was
born and there is no record of his childhood. We donít know how he
was trained or how the Lord was know to John the Baptist. But we
know this, John was appointed to prepare a people for the Lord, and
he came on the scene doing just that. It says he came from dwelling
in the wilderness. Many of Godís servants graduated from the
wilderness of the wilderness. (Moses, David, Elijah, and even
Christ himself who spent the 40 days in the wilderness. John
preached baptism upon the repentance to those saved who showed
remission of sins. It is important to understand that he never
preached that baptism saves nor that it gives remission of sins.
1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,
Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the
prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare
ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall
be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the
rough ways shall be made smooth;
3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Verses 4 Ė 6 are
from Isaiah 40. John saw many of his audience as lost sinners. He
declared that there was wrath to come and warned them to flee from
that wrath. He demanded that they bring forth fruits of
repentance. If they claimed to be people of the Lord, they should
show evidence of it in their lives.
3:7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of
him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the
wrath to come?
3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin
not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I
say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children
3:9 And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: every
tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and
cast into the fire.
Many of the
Israelites claimed Abraham as their father, but this did not
automatically make them a child of God. All are condemned until
they come to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.
3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that
believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in
the name of the only begotten Son of God.
3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the
world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds
3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh
to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds
may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
In the book of
John, Jesus told them if they were Abrahamís children, they would do
the works of Abraham. Abraham was a peacemaker who lived by
faith. He was a tither who feared the Lord and commanded his house
8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus
saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the
works of Abraham.
that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down
and cast into the file. Jesus told us in John Chapter 15 that
branches that do not bear fruit are cut off.
15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and
every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring
forth more fruit.
15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto
15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide
15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and
I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can
3:10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
3:11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let
him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do
3:12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him,
Master, what shall we do?
3:13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is
3:14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what
shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither
accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
instructions as to what we are to do. If we have more than one
coat, then give one to someone who does not have a coat. Also if we
have food and others do not, we should share that food. We are to
do no violence or accuse others falsely. And whatever we are
paid, we should be content with that amount.
Matthew Henry commented this on these verses.
(1.) He tells the
people their duty, and that is to be charitable (v. 11): He
that has two coats, and, consequently, one to spare, let him
give, or lend at least, to him that has none, to
keep him warm. Perhaps he saw among his hearers some that were
overloaded with clothes, while others were ready to perish in rags,
and he puts those who had superfluities upon contributing to the
relief of those that had not necessaries. The gospel requires
mercy, and not sacrifice; and the design of it is to engage us
to do all the good we can. Food and raiment are the two
supports of life; he that hath meat to spare, let him give to
him that is destitute of daily food, as well as he that hath
clothes to spare: what we have we are but stewards of, and must use
it, accordingly, as our Master directs.
(2.) He tells the
publicans their duty, the collectors of the emperorís revenue
(v. 13): Exact no more than that which is appointed you. They
must do justice between the government and the merchant, and not
oppress the people in levying the taxes, nor any way make them
heavier or more burdensome than the law had made them. They must not
think that because it was their office to take care that the people
did not defraud the prince they might therefore, by the power they
had, bear hard upon the people; as those that have ever so little a
branch of power are apt to abuse it: "No, keep to your book of
rates, and reckon it enough that you collect for Caesar the
things that are Caesarís, and do not enrich yourselves by taking
more.íí The public revenues must be applied to the public service,
and not to gratify the avarice of private persons. Observe, He does
not direct the publicans to quit their places, and to go no more to
the receipt of custom; the employment is in itself lawful and
necessary, but let them be just and honest in it.
3:15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in
their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with
water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I
am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost
and with fire:
3:17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his
floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he
will burn with fire unquenchable.
3:18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the
John told people
who questioned if he might be the Christ, that he was not the
Christ, and that he was not even worthy to tie the latches of His
shoes. He declared that he baptized with water, but Jesus would
baptize the church with the Holy Ghost at a later date. (On the day
of Pentecost, Acts Chapter 2.) The baptism with fire will be at
the great White Throne Judgment.
20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found
no place for them.
20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and
the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the
book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works.
20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and
hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged
every man according to their works.
20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is
the second death.
20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was
cast into the lake of fire.
3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his
brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
3:20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
John the Baptist
was not afraid to speak the truth, and he spoke out against Herod
because he had taken his brother Philipís wife which was unlawful.
Because of this,
he was shut up in prison, and alter lost his life.
II. The Baptism
3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that
Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
3:22 And 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.
We have the
record of John baptizing Christ in Matthew Chapter 3. Jesus did
this to fulfill all righteousness and set an example that all of us
should follow. God had told John how he would be able to identify
3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be
baptized of him.
3:14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of
thee, and comest thou to me?
3:15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for
thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered
3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of
the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the
Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
3:17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in
whom I am well pleased.
1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from
heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water,
the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit
descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth
with the Holy Ghost.
1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
We have a record
here that there is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy
Spirit. This is proof of the trinity which is hard to comprehend,
but is the makeup of God.
Genealogy of Mary
3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being
(as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
3:24 Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which
was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son
3:25 Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos,
which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the
son of Nagge,
3:26 Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias,
which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was
the son of Juda,
3:27 Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which
was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was
the son of Neri,
3:28 Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which
was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the
son of Er,
3:29 Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which
was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the
son of Levi,
3:30 Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which
was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son
3:31 Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which
was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the
son of David,
3:32 Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which
was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son
3:33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram,
which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was
the son of Juda,
3:34 Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which
was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the
son of Nachor,
3:35 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which
was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son
3:36 Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad,
which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the
son of Lamech,
3:37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch,
which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was
the son of Cainan,
3:38 Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which
was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.
genealogies seem long and somewhat unimportant to the reader.
However, God had a very important reason for recording this one in
the Word of God.
49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from
between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the
gathering of the people be.
We have this
record that God said that the Lord, the Messiah, would come to
Israel. Shiloh is a name for our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is the
Prince of Peace, and Shiloh means Ďpeace.í God saw that the
genealogical tables were preserved from Adam right on down through
Abraham and on to David, and then from David to the coming of Jesus
Christ. This proves his rightful title to the throne of David.
When you look at the genealogical record listed in Matthew, it only
goes back to Abraham. From Abraham to Christ there are 42
generations. This record is the record of Joseph, who was truly
not the father of Jesus Christ. He goes back to Solomon, Davidís
son. In this book, the record goes back all the way to Adam, and
this is Maryís descendants. Notice she came from Davidís other son,
Nathan. There are several women mentioned in this genealogy.
Thamar was the woman (Genesis 38) who put on the attire of a harlot
and conceived from the seed of her father in law. Her sonís name
was Pharez, and because of this, he and his descendants were not
permitted to enter into the congregation of the Lord until the tenth
23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD;
even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the
congregation of the LORD.
Harlot is mentioned as well as Ruth, a Moabitess outside the
covenant of promise is mentioned. Bathsheba, with whom King David
committed adultery, is also mentioned. These are probably here to
prove that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Coniah,
the man that was barred from sitting on the throne of Israel and
prospering is also mentioned.
22:24 As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim
king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck
22:25 And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy
life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into
the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the
22:26 And I will cast thee out, and thy mother that bare thee, into
another country, where ye were not born; and there shall ye die.
22:27 But to the land whereunto they desire to return, thither
shall they not return.
22:28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken idol? is he a vessel
wherein is no pleasure? wherefore are they cast out, he and his
seed, and are cast into a land which they know not?
Vernon McGee said this about the importance of this record.
Matthew traces the line of Christ through Davidís son, Solomon. That
is the royal line. Luke traces the line of Christ through Davidís
son, Nathan. Mary had the blood of David in her veins. Jesus Christ
is the Son of David.
Luke reveals Jesus
Christ as the Son of Man and the Savior of the world. His
line does not stop with Abraham, but goes all the way back to Adam
who was the first ďsonĒ of Godóthe created son of God. But he fell
from that lofty position when he sinned. Jesus Christ, the last Adam
and the Son of God, is come to bring mankind back into that
relationship with God which Adam formerly had and lost. This
relationship is accomplished through faith in the Lord Jesus
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
Matthew, Matthew Henryís Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.