Tuesday, January 16, 2018

LUKE 3:31-33 GENEALOGY OF JESUS: WHAT’S IN A NAME? – PART 2

LUKE 3:31-33
GENEALOGY OF JESUS:
WHAT’S IN A NAME? – PART 2

Susie: We now continue with Luke’s genealogy of Jesus through His mother, Mary. Why? Because many people skip the genealogies, and we do not like to skip anything. In this section, we will find some more familiar names.

Luke 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,

Susan: Melea means “fullness.” Menan or Menna means “consoling or comforting.” Mattatha means “a gift,” and he was the grandson of King David. Nathan means “He hath given,” and he was the third son of David.

Susie: Nathan is listed as having been born to David in Jerusalem, in other words, after he began to reign as king (2 Sam. 5:14; 1 Chron. 3:5; 14:4). Nathan (in Mary’s lineage) was born before Solomon who is listed in Joseph’s lineage found in Matthew chapter one.

Susan: David means “beloved,” a man whom the Lord called “a man after my own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).

Susie: He is the man God chose to replace Israel’s first king, Saul, after Saul had sinned against God. He is known as a shepherd, a giant slayer, a warrior, a beloved friend of Jonathan (Saul’s son), and a mighty king.

Susan: The Messiah would be a descendant of David and heir to his throne:

2 Samuel 7:12-13 And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Susie: King David was aging and expressed a desire to build a temple for God. However, through Nathan the prophet, God let him know that he was not the one to build the temple. His son, Solomon, would have that privilege. God promised that David’s kingly line would pass on to his descendants.

Susan: As we have seen, Jesus’s earthly lineage shows he was descended from David through Solomon on Joseph’s side and Nathan on Mary’s side of the family. No human except the God-man, the Messiah, could live forever. The throne would pass to the Messiah, Jesus, whose kingdom would never end.

Luke 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 of Naasson,

Susan: Jesse means “wealthy-Jehovah exists.” He was indeed wealthy because Jehovah had blessed him. He had eight sons all together of which David was the youngest. David was in charge of his father’s sheep. Jesse was the son of Obed which means “worshiper or a servant who worships.”

Susie: Obed’s mother was Ruth the Moabite who followed her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to Israel after the death of their husbands. She converted to Judaism and married Boaz.

Susan: Booz or Boaz, meaning “swift,” was the kinsman-redeemer or close male relative of Naomi’s husband and son. He entered into a levirate marriage with Ruth in order to produce offspring for his deceased relative’s family and redeem their land for the widows.

Ruth 2:1 And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband's, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz.

Susie: Boaz’s parents were Rahab and Salmon whose name means “peaceable.” You may remember that Rahab was the Canaanite woman in Jericho who hid the Jewish spies sent out by Joshua.

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.

Susan: Salmon’s father was Naasson meaning “enchanter or serpent of the sun.” Yuck, that name makes me want to take a shower.

Luke 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 (Perez), which was the son of Juda,

Susan: Aminadab means “the kinsman is generous,” an interesting name; but scripture does not tell us why he was named thus. Aram, sometimes Arni or Ram, means “high or elevated.” Esrom means “dart of joy, division of a song.” Phares or Perez means “breach or rupture.”

Susie: Phares (Perez) was the son of Judah by his Canaanite daughter-in-law, Tamar, who tricked him into thinking she was a prostitute in order to bear a child. Phares was the younger twin because his brother stuck his arm out of the womb first, but Phares traded places with him and was born first (Genesis 38:29).  Much later, in the book of Ruth, when the people find out that Boaz is serving as kinsman-redeemer to marry Ruth and produce offspring for her late husband (levirate marriage), they bless him in the following way:

Ruth 4:12 (KJV) And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the Lord shall give thee of this young woman.

Susan: Juda or Judah means “praised or the Praised one. Prophesy said that the Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah.

Genesis 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.

Susie: The scepter was a symbol of power and authority for either a tribal leader like Judah or the kings which would descend from him, including the Messiah.

Susan: Shiloh is a coded reference to the Messiah and may derive from a word meaning “peace-maker.” Jesus was the Prince of Peace, the very source of our peace.


Ponder this: Mary and Joseph were both descendants of David and thus Abraham. There were many people of great faith in their lineage. Will your descendants look back and say that their grandmother or grandfather was a godly person, a person after God’s own heart? Ask yourself if you are leaving a heritage of faith for the ones who follow you, whether your physical descendants or your spiritual descendants.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

LUKE 3:23-30 Genealogy of Jesus: What's in a Name?

LUKE 3:23-30
Genealogy of Jesus:
What's in a Name?

Luke 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,

Susie: Luke traced the lineage of Jesus through Mary. Wait, what? Yes, this lineage is through Mary according to this note from the Macarthur Study Bible:

Luke’s genealogy moves backward, from Jesus to Adam; Matthew’s moves forward, from Abraham to Joseph. Luke’s entire section from Joseph to David differs starkly from that given by Matthew. The two genealogies are easily reconciled if Luke’s is seen as Mary’s genealogy, and Matthew’s version represents Joseph’s. Thus the royal line is passed through Jesus’ legal father, and His physical descent from David is established by Mary’s lineage. Luke, unlike Matthew (see note on Matt. 1:3), includes no women in his genealogy—even Mary herself. Joseph was “the son of Heli” by marriage (Heli having no sons of his own), and thus is named here in v. 23 as the representative of Mary’s generation.

Susie: Many of these men are mentioned only here in the Bible. Therefore, not much is known about them. We will share brief information on those who are mentioned elsewhere and give cross references for those of you who want to explore further. The main purpose of the genealogies found in both Matthew and Luke was to link Jesus to the kingly line of David and to Abraham the father of the nation of Israel. However, Luke goes beyond that to trace Jesus’s earthly lineage all the way back to Adam, the first man, thus showing Jesus is the “Seed” promised to Eve (Genesis 3:15).

Susan: We will give you the meaning of each man’s name because names are significant. Notice how many of these names point to the coming King, the Messiah. Heli means “ascending, climbing up” and is a derivative of the name Eli. He was actually the father of Mary and the father-in-law of Joseph.

Luke 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 of Joseph,

Susie: Matthat, the grandfather of Mary, is mentioned only here and in Matthew’s genealogy.

Susan: Matthat means “a gift.”

Susie: We know nothing else about this Levi except that even though he was of the tribe of Judah, he was named after the father of the Levites who served as priests in the temple.

Susan: Levi means “joined or an adhesion”. Melchi means “Jehovah is my King,” and that is about all that is know about this ancestor of Jesus. Perhaps he was named after an earlier Melchi in the lineage. Janna or Jannai means “He will answer.” Joseph means “may God add or increaser.” Surely, this Joseph was named for other Josephs in the family and ultimately for the Old Testament Joseph who increased the storehouses of Egypt and saved his family from starvation.

Luke 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,

Susan: Mattathias means “gift of Jehovah,” and this is all we know about him other than there was another ancestor of Joseph five generations before him with the same name. Amos means “burden bearer or one with a burden.” He was possibly named after an Amos from a previous generation who was a herdsman called by God to be a prophet (Amos 7:14-15). Naum (Nahum) means “compassionate, comforter, or full of comfort”.

Susie: Nahum who was an ancestor of Mary may have been named after the prophet who preached the complete doom of Nineveh when they went back to their evil ways after repenting due to the message of Jonah. Ironic that the name involved compassion and comfort, isn’t it?

Susan: Esli means “God at my side or Jehovah hath reserved.” He probably lived after the captivity. Nagge (Naggai) means “splendor of the sun.”

Luke 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,

Susan: Maath means “wiping away”.

Susie: Maath lived after the time of Zerubbabel who was governor of Judah during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah the wall-builder.

Susan: Then there is another Mattathias whose name means “gift of Jehovah.” Semei means “hear or obey” and may be the same person as Shemei. Joseph, a.k.a Josech in some translation was one of several Joseph’s in the family line of Mary, Jesus’s mother. The name means “may God add or increaser.”  Juda whose name could be translated Joda which means “haste,” and he lived at the time of the exile.

Luke 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,

Susan: Joanna, also spelled Joanan means “Jehovah hath been gracious.” Rhesa means “will or course”. Zorobabel or Zerubbabel means “an offspring of babel or begotten in Babylon.”

Susie: Zerubbabel is the first person in the genealogy of Mary for whom we have more information. As his name implies, he was born during the Babylonian captivity. He led a group of captives back to Israel and was instrumental in rebuilding the temple (Zechariah 4:1-14) which is sometimes referred to “Zerubbabel’s temple.” He was in the kingly line of David and served as a governor under Persian rule. You can read more about him in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

Susan: Salathiel which is also rendered Shealtiel means “Ii have asked of god.” He was the father of Zerubbabel who led the captives back from Babylon. Neri means “light of the Lord.”

Luke 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,

Susan: Here is another Melchi which means “Jehovah is my king.” There is no other mention of him in the Bible. Addi means “my witness or adorned.” Cosam means “most abundant.” Elmodam or Elmadam means “the God of measure.” Er means “awake or on the watch,” and all we know for sure is that he lived between the time of King David and Governor Zerubbabel.

Luke 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,

Susan: Jose means “aid.” Eliezer means “God is my help.”

Susie: There are several Eliezers in the Bible, but nothing more is known about this particular one.

Susan: Jorim means “he that exalts the Lord.” Matthat, sometimes rendered Matthan, means “a gift.” Levi means “joined or adhesion.”

Susie: This Levi is in the line of King David which means he is descended from Judah. Therefore, even though he bears the name Levi he was not a “Levite” or priest.

Luke 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 of Eliakim,

Susan: Simeon (Symeon) means “hearing, hears and obeys or hearing with acceptance.”

Susie: This Simeon who lived generations before the birth of Jesus bears the same name as the man who was granted the privilege of holding the baby Jesus in order to die in peace, knowing the Messiah had arrived.

Susan: Juda (Judah) means “praise”. His father was yet another Joseph, “May God add or increaser.” The Joseph who saved the nation from starvation, the grandson of Isaac, was a well-respected leader. Therefore, it makes sense that this would be a popular Hebrew name. Jonan or Jonam means “God hath been gracious.” Eliakim means “God is setting up or doth establish.”

Susie: Our next lesson will cover some of the more well-known men in the genealogy of Jesus.


Ponder This: Look back over the meanings of the names listed in Jesus’s lineage. Do you see a foreshadowing of their descendant, the Anointed One, the Messiah?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Neither of us feel well tonight. We will post on this blog again on Sunday night for Monday. Hope all of you are well and warm. 

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

LUKE 3:19-22 - JESUS BAPTIZED BY JOHN

LUKE 3:19-22
JESUS BAPTIZED BY JOHN

Luke 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, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

Susie: Luke does not necessarily present information chronologically. This is a prime example. He is on the topic of John the Baptist and mentions his future imprisonment by Herod but then returns to the time while he was still baptizing in the Jordon river. Matthew’s gospel makes clearer Herod’s issue with John the Baptist:

Matthew 14:3-5 (ESV) For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

Susie: Herod had married his brother Phillip’s wife. This was NOT a levirate marriage (marrying a deceased brother’s wife to have children in his name) because Phillip was still alive! John the Baptist had called Herod out for this obvious adultery, angering both Herod and his former sister-in-law, Herodias, who was then his wife. Therefore, he had John imprisoned. More on that episode in Luke chapter nine.

Luke 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying. . .

Susie: Matthew records John’s reluctance to baptize Jesus and Jesus’s reply:

Matthew 3:13-15 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

Susan: Interesting note here: Luke was the only one of the four gospel writers who recorded the fact that Jesus came up out of the water praying.

Susie: Luke does not record the words of Jesus’s prayer.

Susan: Just conjecture, but perhaps the discourse between the Son and His Father was too intimate to be recorded.

Susie: I believe the next verse relates the answer to Jesus’s prayer.

Luke 3:21b-22 . . .the heaven was opened, 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.

Susie: In this description of the events following Jesus’s baptism, we see all three members of the Trinity in one verse—the Holy Spirit, the voice of the Father, and Jesus the Son.

Susan: Doves are representative of 1) sacrificial offerings made in the Temple and 2) peace. The Hebrew word for peace is “shalom” which means, “nothing missing, nothing broken, to make whole again.” One of the titles for the Messiah, Jesus, is “Prince of Peace.”

Susie: By the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, Jesus grants true shalom to all who trust in His finished work on the cross to redeem them from their sin. Our broken lives are made whole again by His grace.

Susan: Next, Father God affirmed Jesus as His own Son. He voiced His approval of His Son before He even had begun His earthly ministry.

Susie: Luke does not record a reaction from the crowd. Therefore, we do not know if anyone else heard the voice from Heaven. But the gospel of John does record that John the Baptist saw the dove:

John 1:32-33 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 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.


PONDER THIS: Jesus humbled Himself to become a man, temporarily giving up His glory. He again humbled Himself to submit to being baptized by a man even though He was sinless and fully God. He humbly obeyed the Father even to the point of sacrificing Himself on the cross (Philippians 2). If Jesus, the Son of God, could exhibit such humility, why do we have a difficult time humbly submitting to His will?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

LUKE 3:10-18 WHAT SHALL WE DO THEN?

LUKE 3:10-18
WHAT SHALL WE DO THEN?

Luke 3:10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

Susie: Since John the Baptist had just compared them all to poisonous snakes, warned them of the wrath of God, and encouraged them to bear good fruit, the people wisely asked what kind of works they needed to do to prove their repentance. What did he mean by bear good fruit?

Susan: John addressed those who asked him, pointing out the potential “Achilles heel” of each group, the sin that would entangle them the most. Each group was looking for an escape hatch to free them from God’s wrath.

Susie: John answered them with specific tasks necessary to demonstrate their change of heart to follow the Lord rather than their own ways.

John 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 likewise.

Susie: The first answer is to the crowd at large. He urges them not to hoard their surplus goods but to share with those in need. A person could only wear one tunic or outer garment at a time. Therefore, if he had two, he could share. If a family had plenty of food, they should be providing for a family who had none.

Susan: John wants them to be primarily distributors of God’s rich blessings and consumers only secondarily.

Luke 3:12-13 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

Susie: Publicans were Jewish men who worked for the Roman government collecting taxes. They were notorious for taking more than the amount of the tax in order to make themselves rich.

Susan: John told them to resist taking undo advantage of the people because of their position. He told them to take only what the Roman government required and not charge extra.

Luke 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.

Susie: These soldiers were probably soldiers that served Herod the Tetrarch, the ruler of Galilee, rather than the occupying Roman forces.  They would use their power to take money from people or make false arrests to make themselves look good.

Susan: John told them to cease wielding their power for personal gain. They were paid wages and should not use their positions to line their own pockets to the detriment of the people.

Luke 3:15-16 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 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:

Susan: The people were sizing John up to discern whether or not he was the long-awaited Messiah.

Susie: John realized what they were thinking about him, and explained that Someone greater than him was yet to come. He said he would not be worthy to untie the Messiah’s sandals, a job done by the lowest household slave in preparation for washing a guest’s feet. In other words, John identified himself as a servant of the One to come.

Susan: John baptized the people as a picture of their repentance and God’s washing away their sins. It was an outward sign of their inward commitment to God and His way of doing things.

Susie: John the Baptist explained that the One to come after him would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Susan: The Holy Spirit is now God’s manifest presence no longer being alongside the believer but indwelling the believer. Jesus promised to send this Holy Spirit:

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Susan: The Holy Spirit comforts and teaches believers, but He also enables us to be Christ’s “witnesses”, a word that can be translated “martyrs.”

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Susan: The Holy Spirit came upon the first followers of Jesus during the feast of Pentecost, but He now enters into a person the moment he or she trusts Jesus as Savior and Lord.

Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Susie: The baptism of the Holy Spirit did involve fire, but fire can also be a sign of judgement. I think John’s point was that he baptized with water only, as a symbol of repentance and cleansing; but when Jesus baptized with the Holy Spirit, He infused the believers with power.

Luke 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.

Susie: Winnowing wheat was a process to separate the good kernels of wheat from the chaff that was later burned up as useless while the wheat kernels were stored in the barns. Jesus will ultimately separate the true believers from the non-believers. Those who have never trusted Jesus will be thrown into unquenchable fire while those who have followed Him will live with Him forever in Heaven. 

Luke 3:18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

Susie: Luke has given a summary of John the Baptist’s teaching but tells us he preached other things about the kingdom of God and preparing for Messiah as well.

Susan: Jesus is the great separator. There is no sitting on the fence line with Jesus. You are either His and with Him or you are not His and are against Him.

QUESTIONS
1.               John the Baptist gave specific instructions to people about areas that needed to change in their lives. List the actions he urged his listeners to change.

2.               Is the Holy Spirit prompting you to change a specific behavior? Pray for His power to enable you to do so.

3.               Why is it significant that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit?


Thursday, January 4, 2018

LUKE CHAPTER 3:1-9 PREPARING THE WAY FOR MESSIAH



LUKE CHAPTER 3:1-9
PREPARING THE WAY FOR MESSIAH

Chapter 3:1-2 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, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

Susie: Luke carefully sets forth who the rulers were at the time that John the Baptist began preaching. This enables scholars to historically validate the life of Jesus Christ. For an article on Herod the Tetrarch, a.k.a. Herod Antipas go here:


Susan: Caiaphas was the high priest. However, his father-in-law Annas who preceded him had major influence over every ruling Caiaphas set forth. That will become more evident when we study the trial of Jesus. This is why Luke lists them both as High Priests when that was usually a title held by one person.

Susie: Matthew tells us exactly how John the Baptist was living in the desert at the time the Lord instructed him to begin preaching:

Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Luke 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

Matthew 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

MacArthur Study Bible note:
3:6 baptized. The symbolism of John’s baptism likely had its roots in OT purification rituals (cf. Lev. 15:13). Baptism had also long been administered to Gentile proselytes coming into Judaism. The baptism of John thus powerfully and dramatically symbolized repentance.

Susie: John baptized people who were genuinely repenting of their sins to symbolize that God’s forgiveness cleansed them.

Susan: The baptism provided by John pictured God’s washing machine which ultimately foreshadowed the soap of the cleansing blood of Jesus the Messiah. John understood baptism to be an outward sign of an inward spiritual commitment.

Susie: John was helping the people to prepare their hearts to accept the Messiah, Jesus.

Luke 3:4-5 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 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;

MacArthur Study Bible notes:
3:4 Make His paths straight. Quoted from Is. 40:3–5. A monarch traveling in wilderness regions would have a crew of workmen go ahead to make sure the road was clear of debris, obstructions, potholes, and other hazards that made the journey difficult. In a spiritual sense, John was calling the people of Israel to prepare their hearts for the coming of their Messiah.

MacArthur Study Bible note:
Isaiah 40:3–5 A prophetic exhortation told Israel to prepare for the revelation of the Lord’s glory at the arrival of Messiah. Scripture sees John the Baptist in this role (Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4–6; John 1:23). It likewise sees the future forerunner who is to be like Elijah preparing for Christ’s second coming (Mal. 3:1; 4:5, 6).

Susan: John the Baptist was like a sous chef. He prepared people in advance for the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. Jesus being the chief chef would put together all the ingredients John had prepared – repentance, forgiveness, and total cleansing purchased by Jesus on the cross.

Luke 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Susan: The point here is that Jesus’s ministry is not founded on exclusivity. The redemption He purchased by His death on the cross would be not only for the Jews but for all who would believe, including the Gentiles.

Luke 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?

Susie: In Matthew’s gospel, he points out that John said this when he saw certain religious leaders among the crowd:

Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Susan: John the Baptist called these leaders snakes with deadly venom—killers. It was these elders along with the chief priests who ultimately signed Jesus’s death warrant just a few years later.

Matthew 26:3-4 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.

Susie: As leaders, their unwillingness to repent and recognize Jesus as Messiah also led many others astray.

Luke 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 unto Abraham.

Susie: John pointed out that one’s heart attitude is far more important than one’s heredity or heritage. He urged them to do good works to demonstrate their true repentance. Being a physical descendant of Abraham has no saving power. It is only those who have faith like that of Abraham who come to trust in Jesus.

Susan: To be true children of Abraham, they needed to follow in his footsteps, trusting in the Lord by faith.

John 8:39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.

Luke 3:9 And now also the axe 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.

Susie: This was a stern warning that whose who do not genuinely repent and trust the Lord will be irreversibly cast away and will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

QUESTIONS

1.               What was the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for the Messiah?

2.               Why did the people come to John to be baptized?

3.               What is the consequence of failing to repent of sin and trust in God?

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

TEMPLE TEACHERS TAKEN ABACK - LUKE 2:41-52

TEMPLE TEACHERS TAKEN ABACK
LUKE 2:41-52

Luke 2:41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.

Susie: The Passover celebration commemorated the night the death angel “passed over” the houses of the Israelites who had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and lintels at God’s command. All the firstborn children and cattle of the Egyptians died, but the firstborn of the obedient Israelites lived. The Passover sacrifices and a feast were held in Jerusalem annually. There is an interesting article discussion why God would command the Israelites to paint their lintels and doorposts with a baby ram’s blood here:


The nutshell version is that the Egyptian creator-god Khnum had the head of a ram, and it was a direct slam to that god to kill a ram-lamb.

Luke 2:42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

Susan: Age thirteen was a time of significant rite of passage when a Jewish boy was considered responsible for his own actions—a “son of the commandment”. He was expected to put away childish things and be accountable to God, to himself, and to others.

Susie: Therefore, the year before when he was twelve, a boy would usually go to Jerusalem for his first feasts. It was an introduction to the requirements set forth in the Law of Moses. Jesus was probably experiencing His first earthly Passover feast that year.

Luke 2:43-44 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day's journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

Susie: When the festivities were over, Joseph and Mary headed back out with a caravan to return to Nazareth.

Susan: Mary must have thought Jesus was with Joseph, and Joseph must have thought he was with her. He was not with any other relatives.

Susie: They were completely unaware that Jesus had stayed behind.

Susan: They had traveled a day’s journey before they made the horrifying discovery that the boy Jesus was left behind. Where he was, they had no clue!


Luke 2:45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

Susie: After asking if any of their fellow travelers had seen Jesus and looking for him among the group, they turned around and headed back to Jerusalem.

Susan: Mary and Joseph retraced their steps looking frantically for the Son that God had entrusted to them.

Luke 2:46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

Susie: Jesus was in big city of Jerusalem all by Himself for three days. I wonder what He ate and where He slept? The Bible does not tell us. It only tells where He was finally found.

Susan: His parents finally found Him sitting in the Temple in the midst of the teachers and philosophers of His day. He was both listening and questioning.

Luke 2:47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

Susan: The elite religious teachers of His day were amazed, flabbergasted at His wisdom and ability to comprehend the truth of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Luke 2:48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

Susan: If Mary had been a Southern Mama she would have said, “Son, we’ve been worried sick about you!”

Susie: She might have followed that with, “What were you thinking?!”

Luke 2:49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

Susan: Jesus reminded them He was here on mission. I guess He was doing research toward His purpose.

Susie: From this verse, we know that Jesus was aware even at twelve years old that God the Father had a specific plan for Him.

Susan: Jesus meant no disrespect in His reply to Mary and Joseph.

Susie: He was just honestly surprised that they would not think to look for Him in the temple.

Luke 2:50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

Susie: Mary and Joseph didn’t get it. They could not comprehend what He meant about His Father’s business despite all they had already seen fulfilled of the angel’s announcements to them.

Luke 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Susan: Jesus went home in obedience and submission to His earthly parents.

Susie: He humbled Himself to live as a teenager in His parents’ home even though He was God in the flesh.

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Susan: Jesus grew intellectually and physically. He was well-respected in His community and brought pleasure and glory to God, His Father.

QUESTIONS

1.               How might this passage be used to encourage young teenagers?
2.               Would it have helped you navigate teen years to understand that Jesus Himself had to pass through teenaged years?

3.               If you were Mary, what kind of diary entry might you have written after finding Jesus safe and sound with the elders in the temple?