READ LUKE THREE
Luke opens this chapter by telling us who was ruling at the time, where this was taking place and the prophesy that was being fulfilled through it all. John, the Baptist was now 30 years old and had begun the work God had set for him to do. He would be the forerunner of the Messiah – the one who led people to repentance and prepared them to be ready for Jesus and His message of salvation when He appeared on the scene.
Isaiah, the prophet of old had written about the event many of years before it occurred.
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
And all people will see God’s salvation.”
He wasn’t much to look at. Imagine living in the wilderness, with only animal skins to wear and insects to eat. Yet he spread the message of repentance for forgiveness of sins to those around Jordan and many came to hear and be baptized. This simple washing became the cleansing of sins and the acceptance of the Holy Spirit into those being baptized.
John taught them about producing good fruit as a result of their gratitude for God’s forgiveness. He told them to prepare immediately for the judgment of God, because the Messiah would be there soon. He even told Herod to repent of his sins – including his marriage to his brother’s wife, along with other evil deeds. Herod promptly placed John in prison.
Before his imprisonment, John converted many people and made them take a good look at themselves. Until then they had forgotten the way of the Lord. They were drifting away from their beliefs and had adopted other religions and philosophies, much like today. The baptism was new to them, but a necessary gift whereby the Holy Spirit could enter their hearts and return them to the One True God.
Jesus is also baptized at this time. John immediately recognizes Him as the One he’s been preaching about – the one whose sandals he felt unworthy to tie. Jesus didn’t need to be baptized, because He was sinless, but He insisted on it. Eventually He would carry all the sins of the world to the cross. When Jesus was doused in the water, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. A powerful voice from the heavens rang out for all to hear.
“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
This chapter then goes on to list the genealogy of Jesus all the way back to Adam, the son of God. Through this blood line, we see God’s covenant with man being fulfilled. Jesus was about thirty when he began His public ministry. He was also about to change the entire world. May we be revitalized with John’s message of repentance during this time of preparation.
Lord, make our hearts ready to receive you as our Lord, King and Redeemer. You alone can save us from the hold of the devil. You’ve already conquered him. Arm us with your Holy Word. Help us bring others to your truth. Make us ready for your second coming. Amen!