Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 3:22-4:13

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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.

Luke 3:27

Neri. In the Old Testament, Shealtiel is the son of Jehoiachin. Neri is listed here perhaps because of the curse put on Jehoiachin (Jer. 22:30; 36:30).

Luke 3:28-31

All different names from Matthew's list (Matt. 1:7-12) of the same section (see note on 3:23-38).

Luke 3:38

Adam. Luke inverted the line so that Adam's name appeared closer to temptation narrative (4:1-13). This emphasized his failure in the garden in contrast to Jesus's victory in the wilderness. Adam was viewed as a real, historical person. son of God. Another parallel Luke wanted to highlight between Adam and Jesus (see notes on 3:23-38).

Confirmation of the Son of God in the Wilderness - Luke 4:1-13

The wilderness temptation of Jesus was important for several reasons. First, the account portrays Jesus as a true Israelite that embodied God's standards (see note on 3:22). Jesus came out of Egypt (Matt. 2:15). He endured forty days of temptation in the wilderness like Israel's forty years (v. 2; Num. 14:34). Jesus's normal fast (only water, no food; v. 2) parallels the supernatural forty-day fasts of Moses (Exod. 34:28) and Elijah (1 Kgs. 19:8). These men were representative leaders in Israel. Furthermore, Jesus himself understood his role as the final true Israelite. He resisted each temptation he faced in the wilderness with Scripture. The passages used call for Israel's faithfulness in the wilderness (see notes on vv. 4, 8, 12; see Eph. 6:17). These themes are even stronger in Matthew than in Luke. In all of this, Jesus succeeded where Israel failed. He overcame temptation and proved himself to be God's true Son (see Heb. 4:15; 5:8-9). Second, this temptation showed Jesus's superiority as the new Adam (see note on 3:23-38). The first Adam was created in a state of grace, placed in a lush garden, and given all that he needed (Gen. 2:4-25). Nevertheless, he failed to overcome the Evil One's temptation (Gen. 3:6-7). Conversely, Jesus was weakened by hunger (v. 2). He then endured the harshness of the wilderness while he fought the devil's temptations. He trusted God, relied on his Spirit (v. 1; 3:22), and emerged as God's faithful Son (see Heb. 10:7). Third, the temptation narrative helps tie together the preceding accounts of Jesus's baptism (3:21-22) and genealogy (3:23-38). God affirmed Jesus's sonship at his baptism (3:22). Satan attacked Jesus's sonship in the wilderness (v. 3). Jesus proved his sonship by his victory over temptation. Taken together, these passages undeniably reaffirm Jesus's identity as the Son of God (3:22, 28). Finally, this temptation narrative is important because it had implications beyond Jesus's own life. These were more than ordinary temptations. They were aimed at Jesus's role as the Christ and Adam of a new humanity. During this conflict with the devil, he is overcoming temptation and resisting the devil as our representative head (see Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 2:14-15). The entirety of God's redemptive plans hung on his victory.

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