May 23, 2015.
Daily Reading: Luke 3-4.
Background: Luke 1-2.
Concepts and Connections.
1. John the baptizer: One of the hints as to the idea that Luke was writing to a Roman citizen is how he sets the time period of the things that he writes about, using Roman official’s and the ruler’s name to count for time. Setting about to write things in a sequential order, he first writes about John the baptizer, who was the one that was to come before the Christ, preparing the way for Him (see Isaiah 40:3-5, 42:16, 49:11, 52:10 and 57:14). John gets the name that we normally refer to him as from the message that he preached, for he preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. At his preaching, there were many who came out to the wilderness to him and that were baptized by him. Notice that John really doesn’t do all that much to please the people or to make sure that they were comfortable, as he seems to do somewhat of the opposite of this, calling out and rebuking their sins. Yet John was still able to gain disciples and converts. He attempted to take out the false hope that the Jews of this time period were relying on, the fact that they were the children of Abraham, for God could make children of Abraham out of the rocks an trees that surrounded them. Different groups of people were coming out to him to be baptized and asking him how they should change their lives in order to be in line with God, and he gave each group a specific answer to what they should do. Then, when they were starting to think that he himself was the Christ, he put that to rest pretty quickly by talking about the Holy Spirit baptism which was an evident outpouring of the Spirit (see Acts 1, 11 for the fulfillment of these scriptures). While his ministry was going on, Jesus Himself came out to be baptized. Then John was thrown into prison over speaking out against Herod’s unlawful relationship with his brother’s wife and he was thrown into prison.
2. Genealogy of Christ: See Matthew 1.
1. The temptation of Jesus: The temptation of Jesus just before He began His public ministry is recorded in three of the four gospels (see Matthew 4 and Mark 1). There are multiple lessons that we can take from the temptation of Christ. First, the temptation came at a time when Jesus was vulnerable- He had not eaten for 40 days and 40 nights. Temptation often comes at some of our weakest times, because thats when the tempter knows that he has the most chance in getting us to fall. A similar lesson to this is that the tempter will use our weak points to temp us. Jesus was fasting for 40 days, and the the tempter temps Him with food. It is our weakness that will often be tested as opposed to our strengths. Third, it should be noted that the tempter here used scripture in his temptations. Just because scripture is used does not mean it is being used correctly. A similar lesson to this comes from recognizing that Jesus also always answers with scripture. Though scripture can indeed be used in the wrong way, it can also be used in the right way. For more detailed thoughts about this, see Matthew 4.
2. The rejection of Jesus: Just after beginning His ministry, He goes into Nazareth where He was raised and He goes into the synagog on the Sabbath and reads the scroll that we know as Isaiah 61:1-2, and He makes the claim that this prophecy is about Him. After speaking with the people, however, they rejected Him as the Messiah and even wanted to throw Him off a cliff. Jesus said that no prophet is accepted in his own town and then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee.
3. The miracles of Jesus: In Capernaum, He started preaching in the synagogs with authority, and proved His authority through various signs and miracles. A notable miracle He did in Capernaum was the healing of the boy who had a demon. Notice what the demon said before it came out of the boy, recognizing (in fear, seemingly) who Jesus was (see James 2:19). He then went out and healed Peter’s mother-in-law (necessitating Peter’s marriage) and many other sick and demon possessed. The people were following Him wherever He went, even into the desolate places, to the point where He had to tell them that there were other places He needed to preach. This was the purpose that He was sent for, to bring the good news to the world.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Galatians 4-6.
Preach the good news.