September 11 - Luke 3:21-38

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Luke 3:21-38 – Jesus’ Baptism and Genealogy

Matthew 3:13-17 and Mark 1:9-11 give a more complete picture of Jesus’ baptism. There were people who questioned the necessity for Jesus to be baptized since baptism in those days was about repentance and he was supposed to be sinless.

Luke uses the baptism as a transition point between John the Baptist’s ministry and that of Jesus. John was calling the people of Israel together in repentance and it was a very successful ministry. At its peak, Jesus arrived. Salvation was here. God affirmed, through John’s ministry that Jesus Christ was His Son. The earth would never be the same.

The genealogy of Jesus found in Luke is different than that found in Matthew. Early Christians were very interested in the lineage of the Messiah. Luke begins with Jesus and proceeds backwards to Adam, while Matthew, focusing on Israelite history begins with Abraham and proceeds forward. Luke is concerned with Jesus’ availability to all of humanity, while Matthew was more interested in reminding the Jews of their status as part of the covenant God made with Abraham.

Both Matthew and Mark move straight from the baptism to the temptation of Jesus, yet Luke chooses to insert this list in between the two events. By doing this, he points us to Jesus’ humanity.  Jesus has just been affirmed as the Son of God and now Luke takes the time to emphasize his relationship to Adam, the first man.

We are forced to realize that when Jesus is tempted by Satan in the next pericope, he does so as not only God’s son, but someone exactly like us – a man.