Luke 3:21-28 tells the story of Jesus’ baptism. Surprisingly, Luke’s telling is incredibly short. While other Gospel writers paint a picture filled with details, Luke emphasizes God’s voice claiming Jesus as his Son and his Beloved. The inclusion of the genealogy only serves to emphasize this point and launch us headlong into the stream of Jesus adult ministry in the pages to follow.
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00:00:00:25 – 00:00:32:36
Hey, everybody. Welcome back. Thanks for joining us this Wednesday. As we continue through the gospel of Luke. We are, you know, a little bit of a transition period here. We’ve been talking about, John, really in some ways, we kind of get to the culmination of John’s story, though, interestingly enough, that kind of even happens before Jesus is baptized, which is very strange in the Gospel of Luke.
00:00:33:01 – 00:00:54:21
So let’s jump into verse 21, just a few verses here, and then we’ll stop and try to unpack it for you. Now, when all the people were baptized in, when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying the heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove and a voice came from heaven.
00:00:54:48 – 00:01:25:12
You are my son, the beloved with you. I am well pleased. It’s interesting, Michael, that in other gospels this is a story, right? I mean, this is a a painted picture that descended it landed on him. You have John the Baptist as he’s coming out of the water, you have a much more storytelling format here. It’s it feels a little bit like Luke is is clicking the boxes.
00:01:25:12 – 00:01:50:20
He knows this story clearly. He knows the details. He knows this has happened. He he hears, he hears the voice. We have the reference of a dove. We have the voice from heaven. My son, the beloved. We’ve seen this in the other gospels. But Luke rushes. In fact, Luke doesn’t even mention John the Baptist in Jesus’s baptism story, which is Which is really interesting.
00:01:51:48 – 00:02:15:41
It is, I think, as we tried to say yesterday, like Luke has really kind of drawn a line at which he’s done the John the Baptist stuff. Now, maybe to some extent, maybe you could say that’s how a historian would write covering this onto this, onto this. But this is this feels very segmented compared to the other gospels, in my opinion.
00:02:16:04 – 00:02:37:46
Now we know the context of this is John doing the baptism, but not because it’s been explicitly said, but rather because we know that John is baptizing in the wilderness. And so that we put together by the connection of these stories that John is the one who’s calling the people out for baptism. And so therefore, it naturally follows that Jesus is being baptized by him.
00:02:38:13 – 00:03:10:17
What is, I think, striking here is how this text goes out of its way to both note the the common ness and the common reality that Jesus shares with the crowd here. When all the people were baptized, Luke goes out of his way to include everyone at the beginning and then just say, And Jesus is also baptized. And then you have this idea of the uniqueness of Jesus simultaneously being presented in that announcement from having that voice, you or my son, the Beloved, with you.
00:03:10:17 – 00:03:41:29
I’m well pleased. I think this is very, very, very Luke, and we can tell that already from our reading of Luke, how much he cares about making sure that we see that the whole crowd is responding to this invitation and baptism. This, once again, does reflect very positively on John and his gospel of repentance. But make no mistake about it, as we now pivot away from the telling of John’s story in this preparatory kind of season, we shift with a 100% efficiency into Jesus story.
00:03:41:29 – 00:04:14:51
That’s exactly what’s happening here. We now have a voice from heaven, a divine voice, saying, You are my son, the beloved with you. I’m well, Please, God has explicitly name Jesus. It is clear. There’s no question, there’s no ambiguity, There’s no debate. This Jesus is God’s son and God is well pleased. Is that claiming that clarity, which is essentially the beginning here of Jesus’s adult story, it begins not with John’s baptism in the whole painted picture to use that language.
00:04:15:04 – 00:04:25:44
It’s not about the story itself. It’s rather about here’s the thing that initiates it, God’s voice, God’s command, what God has to say, and that’s it.
00:04:25:44 – 00:05:03:01
Yeah, I think it is in an interesting way for Luke to tell this narrative. And again, if you want to compare it, you could easily flip over to other gospels where it’s much more expanded, but it’s no less important for Luke. It is simply that Luke doesn’t choose to dwell here, and Luke is, I think to some extent Michael perhaps Luke is more interested in talking about what Jesus does and who Jesus is than what had happened to him in some senses.
00:05:03:50 – 00:05:29:09
And we see the same thing and I’m not going to read it. I’ll let everybody read it for themselves. But the next section is the genealogy. Matthew and Luke both give us a genealogy. They are different and there have been discussions about why that would be. Some say one follows Mary, some say one follows Joseph. Some say that Luke is far more task oriented in his.
00:05:29:09 – 00:06:04:04
He’s presenting a list of names. You’ll notice there’s really no commentary in this. It’s all son of son of. If you compare that with Matthew, you get women listed, you get references to people who aren’t named. But for instance, Bathsheba is called the wife of Uriah because she doesn’t get her name in the genealogy. It’s a much more family type story, a much more Jewish recitation of the names here in Luke that functions somewhat differently, differently.
00:06:04:04 – 00:06:43:51
It it certainly does give Jesus pedigree in a long list of important names. It also establishes Jesus as of age. And then in some sense, it again appropriates Jesus to his world, that it gives him a background, places him in an ongoing story of the genealogies. You know, Michael, this one is how would you say it is? This one is less interesting because it’s more straightforward.
00:06:44:02 – 00:07:00:57
And I think it’s the fuzziness of Matthew’s, those few places in Matthew where Matthew knows the stories and is embarrassed by them or has to soften them in some way. Luke just plows through the names and that suits his purpose in doing it that way.
00:07:01:28 – 00:07:24:25
I also want to just point out the interesting connection here. We’ve had a lot about John and a about Jesus, but only one of them gets a genealogy that’s Jesus, and that does serve to emphasize Jesus his importance. I think you reference this, but we have to think as modern folks that genealogies are not just a connection to your family’s story.
00:07:24:25 – 00:07:51:36
It also has something to say about your authority, the the kin that you claim as your own have something to say about your culture, about what is expected of you, and even in some cases, what you’re capable of. And so the the telling of this family story that we have here, it really does read as a as a difficult slog for people who don’t claim these as our own sort of names.
00:07:51:36 – 00:08:21:01
But I do think we have this in our modern lives in different ways. I mean, we if you think of that from maybe like a national story, like if you’re a person who considers the United States to be your your people, you know, then there are names who roll off the tongue. You’ve got your George Washington and you’ve got your Thomas Jefferson and you’ve got your later you know, you may not be in their line, but they define something of what it means to be part of that community.
00:08:21:01 – 00:08:44:24
And I think that that is exactly what’s happening here, except it’s it’s functioning culturally and religiously and biblically and theologically. All of these different sort of strains cross over in the genealogy like this. And it’s hard for us to, I think, in some ways relate to that. However, it is important to the original audience, and I think it’s important that we recognize the heart in which it’s written.
00:08:44:45 – 00:09:16:58
You know, I think the closest we come to something like this, we probably bump into it. Someone says, I’m a seventh generation Iowan or I’m the fifth doctor in my family or, you know, in my son in law’s family. He’s the the oldest the first oldest son is John. So he’s the fourth. My grandson’s the fifth. And so there are things I think, that matter like that.
00:09:16:58 – 00:09:58:44
You know, we’re we’ve been doing this thing or we’re the third generation to beyond this farmstead or to live in this home or whatever it might be. I think we still get some vestiges of that. I don’t think by and large, those things mean what they mean here. And certainly the impressiveness of this is that, you know, and I didn’t count this up, but dozens of generations deep, the idea that Luke is tracing this back to the beginning and he is connecting Jesus and who Jesus is and what Jesus will do with the creation story.
00:09:58:44 – 00:10:46:24
And I think, you know, that’s amazing. The one the one asterisk on this is that if you read the very first line, Jesus is about 30 years old. When he began his work, he was the son as was thought of Joseph. So Luke does have a small insertion here for the reader. Just to remind us. A maybe that’s something in regard to the genealogy, but certainly it is a reminder that this person, this man that that Luke is focusing on, there’s more than the history, there’s more than the heritage, there’s more than the family tree.
00:10:46:55 – 00:11:07:24
And, you know, it is interesting. In no accident that Luke ends this genealogy with the phrase son of God in reference to Adam, but bookmarked, I think with that phrase, as was thought of Joseph and Luke does that. I think that’s intentional. I think it’s carefully done.
00:11:08:11 – 00:11:29:22
Within remember the history. I don’t remember the year that The Da Vinci Code came out but it it brought with it a whole ton of these sort of like off the beaten path kind of religious ideas and piece them together in this sort of puzzle type form. And I certainly had these conversations and I I’ve heard you talk about them to Clint, people who were interested in that.
00:11:29:22 – 00:11:47:47
And then, you know, well, what if this is in the Bible and no one’s ever seen it before? And I think actually texts like this are really helpful because we may read past it, but as was thought is a tip off to the fact that people were talking about, well, Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin because his dad’s name was Joseph.
00:11:48:00 – 00:12:12:41
Right. It’s too it’s the Bible. Anticipate debates and questions and doubts that people were expressing even in the earliest days. And it’s a way of admitting it and addressing it right from the start, though, I think that my connection to The Da Vinci Code is just merely to say that sometimes we find things in the Bible that surprise us and we like to think we’re the first one that’s gotten there.
00:12:12:41 – 00:12:36:45
We were the first one to find a whole. If you read the text closely, people really smart people have had doubts and questions since the very beginning. And even the scriptures themselves were constructed in such a way to address a lot of those things. And here I just think, as was thought is clearly a tipoff that there are people who are making the argument that, well, this is all of who he is.
00:12:36:57 – 00:12:41:22
And Luke is clearly going to make the case that that was short sighted. That’s not the whole truth.
00:12:42:07 – 00:13:11:49
Yeah, I think there’s always a temptation to get caught up in the minutia, to read the names, to see the names that aren’t in Matthew or that aren’t in Luke, to count the generations and see if the numbers mean something. People have done all of that stuff through the years. And I think, you know, our folks have generally thought that that is probably putting more on the text than the text meant to do.
00:13:12:23 – 00:13:37:21
And the point here is it was thought that he was of Joseph, but the reader knows more than that. He stands in the lineage of the great figures of the faith all the way back to Adam, the Son of God, and that he begins his ministry at about 30 with this sort of established pedigree might be too strong a word.
00:13:37:21 – 00:14:04:55
Certainly resume genealogy. And having done that, then Luke is ready to move on to the Ministry of Jesus. So yes, you can try to dig deep in this. You can look up these characters, you can see which ones are and aren’t. In the Old Testament, people have done all that. And if you’re interested in that, but I would just say be careful with it because I think it’s likely to lead you down.
00:14:04:55 – 00:14:21:37
Rabbit trails that Luke is not trying to to highlight. Luke is not trying to take Luke is getting through this, doing what he thinks needs to be done so that he is ready to move on and tell the ministry stories of Jesus.
00:14:22:13 – 00:14:43:44
The texts we’re going to come to is not going to be a surprise for you that you’ve you’ve certainly heard at some point the story, the temptation. But what I do think is interesting as we look towards that transition is to just remind people where we then we started with a very opening kind of prolog, a very well-written introduction about the idea of why this book is written.
00:14:43:44 – 00:15:03:09
And then you have an introduction to the birth of John, then you have an introduction to the birth of Jesus, then you have a description of John’s ministry. Then you have a transition in which we move now into the crux of Jesus’s ministry. And we’re told it’s happening about the time that Jesus is 30 years old. That’s significant.
00:15:03:09 – 00:15:34:10
It’s Luke’s way by shorthand of telling us, okay, this is the mature Jesus beginning to do his ministry and work, and that it reminds us, it tells us, textually, that what’s about to happen is now going to be a transition. What was previous is a set up and everything that follows after we move beyond this temptation, you’re the visitor going to be Jesus serving in that salvific role that has been anticipated by all the rest.
00:15:34:10 – 00:15:41:52
And Luke is not needing to tell us that directly, but he’s building it into the text in the flow itself. And I think that’s really masterfully done.
00:15:42:00 – 00:16:10:10
Yeah, and I think we see it maybe most clearly, Michael, in the transition from verse 22 to 23, you know, you are my son, the beloved, that’s a voice from heaven. And then he was the son. It was thought of Joseph And these are the two streams that Luke brings together as he stands now, ready to talk about what did Jesus do once this ministry began, once his mission went into effect?
00:16:10:30 – 00:16:18:34
Where does it lead him and what what situations does it put him in? And we start right off the bat with that temptation story.
00:16:19:15 – 00:16:34:57
That being said, we would love to have you join us for that. We’ll be back again tomorrow starting at 2:00 Central. I hope that you’ll like this video that helps other people find it in the midst of their study whenever they do that in the future and then subscribe if you’d like to stay connected when we put out more of these videos.
00:16:34:57 – 00:16:37:39
Until then, friends be blessed and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
00:16:37:40 – 00:16:46:21