In the Middle East the culture for thousands of years has been to ask of strangers, "Who is your father." The first words out of a persons mouth when they would meet you, would be them asking about your family, where they came from, what part of the local area they are from, where their roots are, but mostly who their father is. Normally in the West, we ask what a person does and then later on in the introductions, we might get into the relationships that the person has, we rarely come out with the first question which would be "who is your father." When I was in Lebanon, and met with the people there, this was always their first question, "who is your father and did he ever live in Lebanon?" As we go to the Scripture today, we will see these types of things happening.
One, we will see Jesus, getting Baptized, with the Father God looking on, and we will see and hear the human lineage of Jesus Christ, all the way back to Adam. "Who is your father," is answered more then once here, at first through the baptism of Jesus and then through Luke giving us the Royal Line of Jesus.
Knowing who your Father was or is was and is still important to people around the world, one father that we are celebrating tomorrow is the birthday of a man on, who was a father, just like us, and had human sins, and failings, but was endowed with the spirit of God, like so many Christians today, he knew the sufferings of his people, so Dr. Martin Luther King was able through the Spirit of God to release his people from the bondage of racial hatred and prejudice, and by doing so, Dr. King also gave to the world a precious gift, peace, and grace. His example reflected Jesus peaceful actions, and paved the way for forgiveness and increased peace. in our Scripture reading today for the message, we will read and see the Fathers presence, the Sons presence, and the Holy Spirt's presence coming together in one beautiful, amazing loving gift to all mankind..
Luke 3:21-38 NLT
One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.*”
The Ancestors of Jesus
23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.
Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Heli.
24 Heli was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
Levi was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Jannai.
Jannai was the son of Joseph.
25 Joseph was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Amos.
Amos was the son of Nahum.
Nahum was the son of Esli.
Esli was the son of Naggai.
26 Naggai was the son of Maath.
Maath was the son of Mattathias.
Mattathias was the son of Semein.
Semein was the son of Josech.
Josech was the son of Joda.
27 Joda was the son of Joanan.
Joanan was the son of Rhesa.
Rhesa was the son of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel.
Shealtiel was the son of Neri.
28 Neri was the son of Melki.
Melki was the son of Addi.
Addi was the son of Cosam.
Cosam was the son of Elmadam.
Elmadam was the son of Er.
29 Er was the son of Joshua.
Joshua was the son of Eliezer.
Eliezer was the son of Jorim.
Jorim was the son of Matthat.
Matthat was the son of Levi.
30 Levi was the son of Simeon.
Simeon was the son of Judah.
Judah was the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Jonam.
Jonam was the son of Eliakim.
31 Eliakim was the son of Melea.
Melea was the son of Menna.
Menna was the son of Mattatha.
Mattatha was the son of Nathan.
Nathan was the son of David.
32 David was the son of Jesse.
Jesse was the son of Obed.
Obed was the son of Boaz.
Boaz was the son of Salmon.*
Salmon was the son of Nahshon.
33 Nahshon was the son of Amminadab.
Amminadab was the son of Admin.
Admin was the son of Arni.*
Arni was the son of Hezron.
Hezron was the son of Perez.
Perez was the son of Judah.
34 Judah was the son of Jacob.
Jacob was the son of Isaac.
Isaac was the son of Abraham.
Abraham was the son of Terah.
Terah was the son of Nahor.
35 Nahor was the son of Serug.
Serug was the son of Reu.
Reu was the son of Peleg.
Peleg was the son of Eber.
Eber was the son of Shelah.
36 Shelah was the son of Cainan.
Cainan was the son of Arphaxad.
Arphaxad was the son of Shem.
Shem was the son of Noah.
Noah was the son of Lamech.
37 Lamech was the son of Methuselah.
Methuselah was the son of Enoch.
Enoch was the son of Jared.
Jared was the son of Mahalalel.
Mahalalel was the son of Kenan.
38 Kenan was the son of Enosh.*
Enosh was the son of Seth.
Seth was the son of Adam.
Adam was the son of God.
Luke brings us the undeniable signs of Jesus that came from God and from God to man. In the first verses before the lineage,( all the hard names) we see an amazing scene, Jesus comes to John the Baptist to be baptized. But Jesus is sinless, why does He need to be baptized? if you have that same question today your not alone, many people who hear this also have the same questions. Lets examine the verses and discover something that comes out in this examination. First we read that the crowds were being baptized, and there was a day when Jesus was to be baptized, Luke tells us that in the midst of all these people being baptized, God Spoke, the Holy Spirit came "in bodily form" and rested on Christ. Jesus was being obedient to the plan of the Father God, who through being connected in prayer was instructed to be baptized, cleansed even though He had no sin. Look at this passage and you can see, that the Father's plan was to show John the Baptist and the crowds, and certain people in the crowd (future disciples) that this Was The Son of God. Almost all of Jesus Ministry here on this sinful planet was to show people who He was, who they should be, and who they should focus their worship on.
Luke shows us the lineage of Jesus, to show the Royal line of Jesus to the readers back then and to us today. As I was talking in the beginning of the message about the Middle East and the questions a person would have for you if you were meeting them for the first time, namely "who is your Father?" Here in Luke, we are given the lineage of Jesus and Luke states quite plainly in verse " Jesus was KNOWN as the son of Joseph" he was not the physical son of Joseph. The people in the Middle East want to know about the nature and character of a person, and this tradition helps them establish trust and confidence by way of the people in the family line. This tradition may help them discover some obvious qualities, but does not help them identify the persons real character, because we all know this saying, I have it inscribed on a jewelry box given to me by our daughters, it says"Anyone can be a Father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy". A true statement that has some value to us today as we go through the third chapter of Luke. The lineage written here is to show Gentiles, or non Jewish people the human side of Jesus, you will notice that there are no women written down. if we go to Matthews Gospel, you will notice in the lineage there are women, Matthew was written primarily to Jewish readers, but Luke was directed towards non-Jews, thereby the lack of women in the lineage. Jewish people see their lineage through their Moms and not through the Fathers, today if you have A Jewish mother, then you are considered by the government of Israel a full blood Jew and entitled to a free trip to Israel to consider becoming an Israeli citizen. So these traditions still exist today as they did back when Luke wrote His gospel under the inspiration of The Holy Spirit. Just as Luke speaks of the Three Persons of the Trinity, God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the baptism of Jesus we have to realize this important scene and keep it in our minds. God the Father, is proclaiming to the world that this is His Son, God proclaims this, and it won't be the only time He proclaims it isn't he Gospels, he does it again and again. God also proclaims, that this is His Beloved Son. This brings us to speaking about God and His role as our Father, our Dad. When we know that God is our ultimate Father, we understand the role of Father completely. God is the perfect Father, He is always there for us He keeps His promises, He is loving and caring, He never leaves us, His love is unconditional for all of us. As human dads we mess up all the time. Many times I had to apologize to our daughters for something stupid I did, but that's is because we are fallen humans and are not God. We can only know the role of being a Father when we know that we have a Perfect Father in God.
God's love for us is evident, so our trust and confidence in God is not dependent on the human factor we don't need to know the lineage or family line of God to approach Him, we see the love around us, it's evident through the very nature of creation. Gods glory is shown around us Hebrews 6:10-12
"For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,* as you still do. 11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. 12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. "
God's promises also show us the true nature of God in these passages of beautiful promises the APOSTLE IN Chains, Paul writes to the early Roman Church, Romans 8:37-39
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
Through Him who loves us, This love comes out so clear and real in John 3:16
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. "
Here is the undeniable proof that the love of the Father is overwhelming, He gave His Only Son to us so that we might live with Him forever!!! This is powerful, awesome unbelievable love!! Amen? You parents, would you send your son to die? Would you?
Jesus comes to us as a gift from the Father so that He would be our intercessor, our way to the Father.
The gift of the Father God, to us, which is Jesus Christ is important for us to know and share with everyone. This gift this Man/God Jesus comes to us here in the Scriptures being baptized by John the Baptist, this is not necessary physically because Jesus has no sin, but it is necessary for the people to see Jesus as we are. Jesus knows us, He knows what is in our hearts, he knows the pain and suffering we go through and are going to go through. He became us, He became our sufferings, and our joys, He completed the plan and took our sin on the cross, we were forgiven 2000 years ago, but some of us are still searching for that forgiveness. Knowing Jesus, and turning away from our sin, competes the circuit and brings us freedom, release from the bondage of sin. We are free completely free because of the penalty that was paid by Jesus, but even before Jesus paid the price for us He made arrangements for us to have him within us, when we accept Him as our Redeemer, Savior, and God. John 16:12-15
But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’
6 “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment;
9 concerning sin, abecause they do not believe in Me;
10 and concerning arighteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;
11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.
15 “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
so the gift of Jesus has turned to another gift, the Holy Spirit all of these gifts extending from the love of God the father. Please see the three persons here, God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Sprit known as the trinity. Some pastors from certain churches preach that there is only one God, and this form of heresy is called modelism, or Oneness Pentecostalism, where they believe that Jesus is God appearing in three different forms. Here in Luke we can see that this heresy breaks down completely as we see and hear the the Father God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ, don't let shepards in wolfs clothing to distract you from the truth, the truth is the Trinity, not just Jesus, but Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. It is very important that we spend some time in this this morning. As we go through Luke 3 we see right out in front of us the sign of, the Trinity and Jesus sends the Holy Spirit as He is glorified back to the Father we read that in John's Gospel, now the Holy Spirit lives inside each of us if we are born-again. The Holy Spirit reflects the love of Jesus Christ, just as the moon has no light of its own, we have no light of our own, we need the light of Christ to shine off of us so that those who don't know Jesus will want what we have, the absolute certainty of eternal life with Christ.
The Holy Spirit is our confidence and truth, and we are adrift in a sea of lies, hate, and prejudice without the Holy Spirit guiding us.
we need God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit if we are to have relationships, fellowships with each other. e can never be intimate with Jesus if we do not have a relationship with all three. our understanding of the trinity is limited, manly because we are humans and Gods ways are much higher then our ways. if we could understand the Trinity, then God would not be The Omnipresent God that is in love with each of us. We need to know and understand certain things, God is God, Jesus is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the Holy Spirit. Separate but together, distinct persons who love us unconditionally, but together are all the same. hard to understand, but the mysteries of God are for God to understand not us, we are to acknowledge His greatness, and glory, grace and understanding..
This morning we read the Scripture from Luke 3, and we see Jesus who was sinless, go down into the water and come back up, baptized; to show the people that He was Truly the Son of God, Jesus lowers himself to come to John the Baptist and be baptized,only to further the plan of God to save each of us by obeying the plan of God. We have to be thankful that our King of kings, Jesus, went obediently to the cross, and the road to the cross starts at the banks of the Jordan river, as His Father blessed Him and the Holy Spirit entered him in human form settling on him as gently as a dove.
We also read and heard the words of Luke inspired by the Holy Spirit, as to the lineage of Jesus, all the way back to Adam. This is to show the unbelieving Gentiles that there was a royal bloodline for Christ. How does this relate to us today? How do we take this information and use it in our crazy culture? First, we need to understand that when Jesus was going under the water, and showing the people his baptism, it is also an example to us, that we must die to, our selves if we are to have a relationship with Christ, The example of Christ' linage means that God had planned this out far beyond what we could understand, also it means that the only true lineage we need, is our faith in Christ, our knowing that we were reborn in Jesus Christ. We have repented from our pervious ways and have become a new person, no longer controlled by sinful desires. Our only desire is to live as Christ, Love like Christ, and serve like Christ. No matter where we come from no matter what we have done, we are forgiven by the redeemer, the Savior, our God, our everything . We don't need a fancy lineage to be forgiven, we just need Faith in Jesus, Repent of our sins, turn away from these ways, and believe on Jesus Christ, and we will be reborn, not of carnality, but of a pristine new creation, no longer our old selves, but reborn into new bodies, changed by the awesome grace of God.
Luke brings us to the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, are we at the beginning of our ministry towards others in this church, of the street, to your neighbors? Jesus wants us to begin our ministry regardless of our own "linage". Jesus wants us to start the ministry right away, not waiting for that perfect time, or for that perfect place. Jesus is watching and loving us, waiting for us, ...waiting for us to begin to make a difference in this world, to feed a hungry family, to assist the neighbor in need, to step out in an effort to bring peace to those who need it, to bring forgiveness to to those who ask of it.
This week we need to think of this baptism, and the lineage of Jesus, and how this incident in Luke, is applied to us today, I feel we should apply it in a way that will,make Jesus Smile, make him know that this church, ...His people will stop at nothing to bring him glory through our actions and examples of Jesus. Bing peace to those who need it, bring grace to to those who cry out for it, and bring your faith in Jesus to those who are in desperate need of it.
What a great time to bring grace to this world, starting with the remembrance of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and going throughout the week with the March for Life in Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of people marching for the rights of the unborn. Be a light this week, Shine on! Show the love of Christ,
Be a reflector of Jesus this week!