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II. The Beginnings of His Ministry -- Chapter 3-4:13
1. The Ministry of John the Baptist. (Luke 3:1-14 .)
2. His Testimony to Christ and his Imprisonment. (Luke 3:15-20 .)
3. The Baptism of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 3:21-22 .)
4. The Genealogy of Mary, the Mother of our Lord. (Luke 3:23-38 .)
Eighteen more years of silence follow. It is broken by the voice of the forerunner, John, who preached at Jordan the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. He is not reported here preaching “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” He preached thus as the witness for the King and the Kingdom about to come. Matthew had to give the report of this preaching. Here we read that “all flesh should see His salvation.” This awaits still its great fulfillment when He comes the second time. John’s call to repentance is answered by the people, by the publicans and by the soldiers. They asked “What shall we do?” How different, however, the question concerning salvation and the answer. (Acts 16:30-31 ).
Then he gave witness concerning Christ. The expectation among the people was great and some thought that John might be the Messiah. The answer he gives directs the people to the coming One. Luke 3:16-17 blend together the first and second Coming of Christ. The fire-baptism takes place when He comes again; it is the fire of judgment. His first coming has brought for all who believe in Him the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
We request the reader to turn at this point to the remarks made in our annotations on Matthew and Mark. Luke omits, however, the conversation which took place between our Lord and John; then there is the additional information that our Lord was praying, when heaven opened and the Holy Spirit came upon Him. The descent into the water signified His death and as the result of His death, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came down. As He prayed in Jordan so He prayed in Gethsemane as He approached the cross. “Who in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him out of death and was heard in that He feared.” (Hebrews 5:7 ).
The age of our Lord, about thirty years, is only given by Luke. In the Gospel of the Manhood this properly belongs. The annotations on the first chapter in Matthew should be carefully considered here and the two genealogies compared. The genealogy in Matthew is that of the King; Luke’s genealogy is that of the Son of Man. Matthew’s genealogy begins with David and Abraham and leads up to Joseph; Luke’s genealogy begins with Joseph and leads up to Adam, the first man. It is a tracing backward to the head of the human race, Adam; and back of Adam is God Himself. So He who is God had come and became the Son of Man, the Second Man, the last Adam. The genealogy in Matthew is that of Joseph, a son of David, through the line of Solomon; Luke’s genealogy is that of Mary, the mother of our Lord, who also is of David through the line of Nathan. Joseph is called in Luke’s genealogy the son of Heli, because Mary was a daughter of Heli. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary.
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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Luke 3". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24