Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 2:49-3:20

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Luke 2:49

Did you not know. Not a rebuke of his parents. Jesus simply expected his parents to know where he would be. The Spirit led Jesus to understand his basic identity as God's Son and possibly his role as the Christ (see 4:43; John 5:30; 6:38). Father's business. The temple, which was a place of teaching and learning about the scriptures (see 19:47-48). Unlike the group expressions of God as Father in the Old Testament (1 Chron. 29:10; Isa. 64:8), Jesus uniquely claimed him as my Father.

Luke 2:51

obedient. When specifically asked to leave, Jesus responded as he should with submission to his parents (Exod. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-3). treasured. See note on v. 19.

Luke 2:52

See notes on 1:80; 2:40.

John's Identification of Jesus - Luke 3:1-20

Luke grounded John's ministry in history (3:1-2). He also contrasted John with the political and religious leaders of the day. This showed that his message was meant to confront average people (3:7-14) as well as ruling powers (3:19-20). John's ministry was one of preparation. He pointed beyond himself and made ready the way for the Christ (3:3-6, 15-18).

Luke 3:1

Luke mentioned several prominent figures to ground the narrative in world history. Tiberius Caesar. Reigned as emperor of Rome from A.D. 14 to 37. Prior to that, he served two years as coregent with his predecessor, Caesar Augustus (see note on 2:1). It is hard to tell whether Luke marked the first year of his reign with his time as cogent or his start as Caesar on his own. This makes the date of Tiberius' fifteenth year uncertain. It was sometime between A.D. 26-28. If Jesus was born just prior to Herod's death 4 B.C. (Matt. 2:1-19), this would make Jesus about thirty years old (v. 23). Pontius Pilate. The governor of Judea from A.D. 26-36. The term governor can mean prefect or procurator. He was a prefect. Herod. Herod Antipas was tetrarch over one of three regions in the area previously ruled by his father, Herod the Great. Herod Antipas ruled over Galilee and Perea (4 B.C.–A.D. 39). Philip. Half-brother to Antipas. He ruled the area northeast of the Sea of Galilee (4 B.C.–A.D. 33/34). Luke mentioned Ituraea and Trachonitis but this region also included Batanaea, Auranitis, and Gaulonitis. Lysanias. There were several men named Lysanias who ruled over several decades in Abilene. The exact location is unknown but Abilene could be the region north of Mount Herman which is called Abila.

Luke 3:2

Annas and Caiaphas. Caiaphas was the active high priest at the time. However, his father-in-law Annas had previous served (A.D. 6-15) and maintained a strong influence over religious matters in Israel. Annas even retained the title high priest after his term of service (see John 18:13, 19-24; Acts 4:6). Luke used the singular high priesthood to indicate that both of these men shared authority. This grasping for power was at odds with the Scriptures' teaching about the priesthood's concern for the spiritual state of God's people. John son of Zechariah. In the midst of political and religious power, John received God's prophetic word. He began his promised ministry of preparing the people of Israel for the Lord (1:13-17). Coming from the wilderness made clear his ministry was from God (see Exod. 15-20; 1 Kgs. 17:2-3; Jer. 2:2-3; Hos. 2:14-23). Given the parallels with Jer. 1:1-3, Luke probably intended to emphasize John's role as a true prophet of God.

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