1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias. in the wilderness. 3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth; 6 and all flesh will see the salvation of God.
- Repentance for forgiveness of sins is God’s way—not laborious tasks that man cannot perform.
- This was astounding news because the Pharisees were piling hard works on people and were extorting money for every small infraction.
- In ancient times a herald preceded the arrival of a king so that the people could make everything ready.
- This herald announced the arrival of the Savior of mankind promised 4,000 years earlier, the eternal King of Kings—the LORD of the universe.
- Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high
7 Then he said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, O offspring of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham our father: for I say to you, That God is able to raise up children unto Abraham from these stones. 9 Now the axe is laid to the root of the trees: every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.
- The root of the trees was the leaders of the people. They all came from Abraham genetically but these leaders were not faithful or obedient to God.
- They were commissioned to give God’s eternal life and word to the nations.
- Instead, they were misrepresenting God and extorting money to keep for themselves.
- ‘Vipers’ shows us that death rather than life is what came out of their mouths. That was the reason for God’s wrath.
- Mark 9:43 And if your hand offends you, cut it off: it is better for you to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never will be quenched
10 And the people asked him saying, What are we to do then? 11 He answered and said to them, He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none; and he that has food, let him do the same. 12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, Teacher, what are we to do? 13 And he said to them, Collect no more than is commanded of you. 14 And the soldiers also asked of him saying, And what are we to do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, nor accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
- These were baptized having turned back to God for remission of their sins.
- Then the worthy works were generosity toward those in need and not abusing the authority given to them.
Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire
He is the mightiest
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men wondered in their hearts about John, if he was the Christ, or not; 16 John answered and said to them all, I in fact baptize you with water; but one mightier than I comes, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie: he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire: 17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. 18 And in his exhortation he preached many other things to the people.
- Jesus is so strong that He spoke creation into being.
- Hebrews 1:2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 For he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
Jesus is the precious, well-beloved of the Father in whom He is well-pleased
19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils that Herod had done, 20 he also added this above all, that he locked John in prison. 21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.
- Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
23 And Jesus himself was about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, who was the son of Heli, 24 Who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Janna, who was the son of Joseph, 25 Who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Amos, who was the son of Naum, who was the son of Esli, who was the son of Nagge, 26 Who was the son of Maath, who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Semei, who was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Juda, 27 Who was the son of Joanna, who was the son of Rhesa, who was the son of Zorobabel, who was the son of Salathiel, who was the son of Neri, 28 Who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Addi, who was the son of Cosam, who was the son of Elmodam, who was the son of Er, 29 Who was the son of Jose, who was the son of Eliezer, who was the son of Jorim, who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, 30 Who was the son of Simeon, who was the son of Juda, who was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Jonan, who was the son of Eliakim, 31 Who was the son of Melea, who was the son of Menan, who was the son of Mattatha, who was the son of Nathan, who was the son of David,
- ‘Supposed to be the son of Joseph,’ Joseph was from the tribe of Judah.
- God had declared Judah to be the ruling tribe because of David.
- Both of Jesus earthly parents were of Israel’s royal lineage.
- These names are the Greek renderings of Hebrew names.
- Matthew 1:20, Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take to you Mary your wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
32 Who was the son of Jesse, who was the son of Obed, who was the son of Booz, who was the son of Salmon, who was the son of Naasson, 33 Who was the son of Aminadab, who was the son of Aram, who was the son of Esrom, who was the son of Phares, who was the son of Juda, 34 Who was the son of Jacob, who was the son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham, who was the son of Thara, who was the son of Nachor, 35 Who was the son of Saruch, who was the son of Ragau, who was the son of Phalec, who was the son of Heber, who was the son of Sala, 36 Who was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Arphaxad, who was the son of Sem, who was the son of Noe, who was the son of Lamech, 37 Who was the son of Mathusala, who was the son of Enoch, who was the son of Jared, who was the son of Maleleel, who was the son of Cainan, 38 Who was the son of Enos, who was the son of Seth, who was the son of Adam, who was the son of God.
- Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
- Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore that holy one who will be born of you will be called the Son of God.
Jesus was tested by the devil for forty days
1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 Being tested forty days by the devil. And in those days he ate nothing: and when they were ended, afterward he was hungry. 3 And the devil said to him, If you are the Son of God, command this stone to be made bread. 4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
- Notice that Jesus was tempted the whole 40 days.
- Only three of His tests are recorded for us.
- This first test tempted Jesus to use His divine power to satisfy his own need.
- Jesus could have turned the stones into bread. This test tempted Jesus to rely on Himself rather than His heavenly Father for His provision.
- Man isn’t really living until he learns the whole word of God.
- Until then we do not fully know our God. And to know Him is life.
- Christianity is a relationship with our Maker, the LORD of the universe more than a set of rules to live by.
- If we know His rules but not Him we have missed the whole point and will go to hell.
- John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
5 And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to him, I will give you all this power, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and I give it to whomever I will. 7 So if you will worship me, all will be yours. 8 And Jesus answered and said to him, You get behind me, Satan: for it is written, You are to worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
- Satan didn’t create the universe or himself. He doesn’t sustain himself. He is not worthy of worship.
- Adam followed Satan when he ate the forbidden fruit, giving Satan access to earth.
- Remember God had put Adam in Eden, His garden, to tend it and keep it.
- The word keep means guard. God had promised the kingdoms of the world to Jesus at His birth.
- This was a test about promotion. Would Jesus wait on God the Father’s will and timing or follow evil and take a shortcut?
- Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will give you the heathen for your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, If you are the Son of God, cast yourself down from here: 10 For it is written, He will give his angels charge over you, to guard you: 11 And they will lift you up in their hands, lest at any time you strike your foot against a stone. 12 And answering Jesus said to him, It is said, You are not to test the Lord your God. 13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he left him for a season.
- This promise Satan used to tempt Jesus is found in Psalm 91.
- These weren’t special promises just for Jesus.
- Jesus was to live as we must live, without His divine powers.
- This test was about protection. Would Jesus trust God for His protection?
- We all face these three kinds of tests regularly.
- Psalm 91:11 For he will give his angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways. 12 They will lift you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and his fame went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and as was his custom, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was delivered to him. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and give sight to the blind, to set free those that are crushed, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book and he gave it to the minister and sat down. And the eyes of all those that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say to them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.
- This was a stunning moment. The fullness of time had come. The promise God made to send a Savior to save mankind from its suffering was being fulfilled.
- Jesus was simply stating the truth.
22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Isn’t this Joseph’s son? 23 And he said to them, You will surely say to me this proverb, Physician, heal yourself: what we have heard done in Capernaum, do here in your country also. 24 And he said, Truthfully I say to you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But was Elijah was sent to none of them, but to Sarepta, a city of Sidon, to a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath. 29 They rose up, thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill on which their city was built, to cast him down headfirst. 30 But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way,
- Many of the people in Israel didn’t know the word of God well and were looking for God to come in much glory with a great entourage of angels.
- They missed the astounding love and beauty of God totally identifying Himself with us by becoming one of us.
- All lepers in history could have been cleansed if they would ask.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what do we have to do with you, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are; the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold your peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and did not hurt him. 36 And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And his fame of went out into every place of the surrounding country.
- The Lord spoke creation into being. His word is that powerful.
- Hebrews 1:2 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds
- Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 9 he spoke, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Christ, the Son of God heals
38 And he rose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they sought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she got up and ministered to them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all those that had any sick with various diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, You are Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them, did not allow them to speak: for they knew that he was Christ. 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came to him and detained him that he not leave them. 43 And he said to them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: that is why I was sent. 44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.
- Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for power went out of him, and healed them all.
1 And it happened as the people pressed on him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and saw two boats standing by the lake: but the fishermen had left them, and were washing their nets. 3 So he entered into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people from the ship. 4 Now when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a haul. 5 And Simon answering said to him, Master, we toiled all night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at your word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fish: and their net broke. 7 And they beckoned to their partners who were in the other boat, to come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the haul of the fish they had taken: 10 And also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, do not fear; from now on you will catch men. 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed him.
- Jesus showed His control over all wildlife by bringing the fish into their nets.
- Peter went from calling Jesus master to Lord after this happened.
- These fish would have made them rich.
Our Lord cures the incurable
12 And when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who, seeing Jesus, fell on his face and sought him, saying, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. 13 And he put out his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be clean. And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And he commanded him to tell no man: but go, and show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them. 15 But the report of him spread much more: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.
- Leprosy was a fatal disease in those days except by a miracle from God.
- Jesus wants all to be healed. He never said to anyone, No, I need you to stay sick for your own good. Or I can’t heal that one. Or you don’t deserve to be healed. None do. All have sinned.
- Matthew 12:15 But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from there: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all
- Jeremiah 32:27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. 17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who came out of every town of Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them. 18 And behold, men brought in a bed a man who was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And when they could not find a way to bring him in because of the multitude, they went up on the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his cot into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven you. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said to them, What do you reason in your hearts? 23 Which is easier to say, Your sins are forgiven you; or to say, Rise up and walk?
- Only God could forgive sins. Only God could heal this man.
He has power to forgive sins
24 But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins, (he said to the sick of the palsy,) I say to you, Get up, take your cot, and go to your house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took that on which he lay and departed to his own house, glorifying God. 26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day. 27 And after these things he went out and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the tax office: and he said to him, Follow me. 28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them. 30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? 31 And answering Jesus said to them, Those that are whole do not need a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
- Feasts in those days were like an open house today. All people could wander in and partake.
- Guilt is one of the greatest causes of depression and suicide.
- Everyone sins, breaks God’s law, all feel guilt.
- Repentance is turning back to God from sin.
- Forgiveness through Christ’s death is so astounding that it cures all the ills of the heart and brings great joy.
- Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high
33 And they said to him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and the disciples of the Pharisees; but yours eat and drink? 34 And he said to them, Can you make the children of the bride chamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in those days.
- Jesus is the eternal bridegroom; He is the eternal lover of our hearts.
- He loves, protects, and provides for us like no earthly bridegroom ever could. His heart longs for us when our hearts are not with Him.
- Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage for his son
- Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handy-work. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. 6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat of it.
- Isaiah 62:5 … and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
- Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will feast with him, and he with me.
36 And he spoke a parable to them; No man puts a piece of a new cloth on an old garment or will tear because new piece does not match the old. 37 And no man puts new wine into old wineskins; or the new wine will burst the wineskins, and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins; and both are preserved. 39 No man having drunk old wine desires new: for he says, The old is better.
- Jesus was telling them that He came to change the old way of things to a new and better way but that they weren’t going to like it at first.
- In the Old Testament God was approached by animal sacrifices which showed graphically what God was going to do for us.
- After Jesus paid for all sins on the cross we boldly come straight into God’s holy presence by turning our hearts to Him.
- Our fellowship with God is symbolized by the bread and wine.
- Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he has consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh
- John 6:35 And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst.
SUMMARY: Luke 3-5
- Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire
- He is the mightiest
- Jesus is the precious, well-beloved of the Father in whom He is well-pleased
- Jesus was tested by the devil for forty days
- Christ, the Son of God heals
- Our Lord cures the incurable
- He has power to forgive sins