Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 3:21-38

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Luke 3:21

Jesus also was baptized. John's baptism was a sign of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (v. 3). Since Jesus was without sin (Heb. 4:15), he had no need of repentance or forgiveness. Thus, he was not baptized for his own sake, but the sake of his people. Jesus was identifying with sinners who needed to be baptized and whose lives needed to be marked by repentance. He not only died as a substitute (Isa. 53:4-6, 10-11; Rom. 5:8), but lived as one well. This was to accomplish all righteousness on their behalf (Matt. 3:15; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9). praying. Prayer is a central theme in Luke's writing. Jesus is often shown praying and held up as a model of prayerful devotion to God (3:21; 5:16; 6:12-13; 9:18, 28-29; 11:1; 22:32, 41; 23:34, 46). It was out of the context of Jesus's relationship to the Father that he prayed and received not only the visible empowering of God's Spirit, but also an affirmation of the Father's love and delight (v. 22). heavens opened. A sign of the messianic age to come (Isa. 64:1) and God's revelation (v. 22; see Ezek. 1:1; John 1:51; Acts 7:56; 10:11; Rev. 19:11).

Luke 3:22

Holy Spirit. God's Spirit descended on Jesus, setting him apart for his ministry as the Christ. This was the public declaration that the Spirit of God was with him, empowering him in his work as the Christ. bodily form . . . dove. Luke was more specific than other Gospels, emphasizing the physicality of the appearance (Matt. 3:16 // Mark 1:10 // John 1:32-34). You are my Son. God declared that Jesus is his beloved Son—the title in Scripture for the rightful Davidic king. One manuscript, Codex Bezae, uses Psalm 2:7 to make this explicit. Moreover, it highlighted Jesus's fulfillment of Israel as God's Son (Exod. 4:22-23; Jer. 31:20; Hos. 11:1). He was the true Israelite who would succeed where Israel failed (see note on 4:1-13). Jesus was the Son who obeyed in all things and pleased God (see 9:35; Isa. 41:8; 42:1; 49:3).

Luke 3:23-38

This genealogy differs from the one in Matthew's Gospel (Matt. 1:1-17). However, these lists should be seen as complimentary not contradictory. While Matthew was concerned with showing Jesus as the rightful heir to the Davidic throne, Luke had a larger scope in mind. He wanted to show Jesus as the Second Adam (see Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:22, 45-49). This made Jesus the representative for a new humanity. He demonstrated Jesus's descent from the first man to show his obedience in contrast to Adam's failure. He showed his physical descent back to the beginning of creation itself through Adam.

Luke 3:23

thirty years. A number rooted in the Old Testament pattern of the age which many began their unique service to God (Gen. 41:46; Num. 4:3; 2 Sam. 5:4; Ezek. 1:1). son (as it was assumed) of Joseph. A phrase which allowed Luke to further stress Jesus's virgin conception (1:34-35) and Joseph's legal fatherhood. Heli. This differs from Matt. 1:16 where Joseph's father is recorded as Jacob. Since both Matthew and Luke seem to have worked from detailed records, it is hard to understand the reason for this. The best explanation is that Jacob and Heli were two different men from two different marriages. The second marriage was likely due to the first husband's death and may have been a levirate marriage (see Matt. 22:24). This would have made Joseph the biological son of one man and the legal son of the other.

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