06 Luke 3.21-38
The Baptism, the Balcony and the Basement
v RQ: How do you handle change?
Ø Do you like it? Do you avoid it?
§ I am the kind of person that does not like change
v About a 2 years ago I was talking to a friend of mine
Ø At that time I was fresh out of seminary, I was candidating for a pastoral position and Carrie was pregnant
§ My friend informed me that there are 4 major changing points in the adult life that lead to stress
· A new baby
· A job change
· A major move
Ø Then he pointed out that I was about to go through 3 out of the 4 within the same year!
§ And that I did
· Carrie gave birth in May
¨ In July we moved up here and I began a new job as pastor!
v We have all had points in our lives where large scale change occurs
Ø When we Graduate from high school or College
§ Perhaps it was a job change, getting Married, etc
· In business they are called paradigm shifts
v Here we meet the adult Jesus for the first time in Luke’s Gospel
Ø And He is at a paradigm shift point in His life…
v Through His baptism, Jesus is laying aside His woodworking tools and becoming a tool in God’s hand
Ø From this point on, Jesus is no longer a carpenter of wood, but a carpenter of souls
§ It is at this moment that he puts behind Him being Joseph and Mary’s son and takes His actives role as the Son of God
And this all happens at…
v And Luke very simply and kind of “matter-of-factly” states
Ø …Jesus was baptized too
v But Jesus’ baptism also brings up some questions…
Ø “Why did Jesus have to be baptized since he was sinless?”
§ It doesn’t make sense!
· When we get baptized, it is for the remission of sin
¨ Going down into the water signifies a washing of the old sin nature
¨ Coming up out of the water symbolizes the new man emerging saved through Christ’s blood
v But Jesus was sinless
Ø He had no need for baptism
§ As Hebrews 4:15 states
· we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin
v You see…
Ø Jesus’ baptism was more than breaking from His previous way of life…
§ He was identifying Himself with the people He came to save
Today the Kalaupapa peninsula on Molokai is the sight of a small secluded village. It is nice, clean and safe place to live. There is a popular tour that takes vacationers by mule along a mountain path to get to the peninsula. Kalaupapa village contains an administration building, post office, book store, fire station, never-used jail and of course the hospital which, considering the size of the population, is one of the best staffed and equipped in Hawaii.
In the center of the village stands the large town meeting hall, with a big blackboard nailed on its front and some chalk hanging nearby, just in case a message for someone needs to be written. This is a cozy and tranquil Hawaiian town
However, this town has not always been a scenic and happy place, for Kalaupapa up until the 1940’s was a leper colony. Lepers from around the pacific were shipped to this remote village in Hawaii. There are horror stories about how the leprosy victims, arriving by ship, were sometimes told to jump overboard and swim for their lives. Occasionally a rope was run from the anchored ship to the shore, and they pulled themselves painfully through the high, salty waves, with legs and feet dangling below like bait on a fishing line.
The ship's crew would then throw overboard whatever supplies had been sent, relying on currents to carry them ashore or the exiles swimming to retrieve them.
On 10 May, 1873, Father Damien, at his own request, arrived at the settlement as its resident priest. He dressed their ulcers, helped them erect their cottages, and went so far as to dig their graves and make their coffins. For twelve years he ministered to the outcasts of society.
In May of 1885, Father Damien came before the village to give his weekly sermon. He approached the pulpit, paused and then ripped His sleeves showed the people the leprous ulcers his arms and said, “I am now one of you”
4 years later, Father Damien became helpless and died.
v In the same way through His baptism, Jesus was stating, “I am one of you”
Ø READ Isa 53:10-12 ~ The Suffering Servant
§ because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
· Jesus was numbering Himself among the transgressors when He was Baptized
¨ He was willing to take on Himself our leprous disease of sin
v And because He was willing to do that
Ø He hears a voice from the balcony and His Father in Heaven is heard declaring
§ V. 22 ~ You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased
v They say who a person is is influenced by two basic factors
Ø Who we look up to and who is in our past
§ Who is in our balcony and who is in our basement
v And we see clearly in our text who is in Jesus’ balcony
Ø His heavenly father
§ But look at the small detail that Luke gives us in v. 21
· Luke tells us what no other Gospel account tells us
¨ That as Jesus was praying
Ø He was seeking His heavenly father’s guidance at a critical moment in His ministry
§ And we find out in 4:1 that he was to be lead into the desert for 40 days
v Jesus was listening to the voice in His balcony
Ø And the voice called back
§ “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”
v Our Balcony is filled with people that we respect, people we admire, people we trust
Ø RQ: Who is it that inhabits your balcony?
For Robert Kuferschmid there were two on the morning of June 17, 1998. Robert, an 81-year-old with no flying experience, was to have taken a short flight from Indianapolis to Muncie, Indiana in a little single engine Cessna with Wesley Sickle, a pilot friend of his.
During the flight, his friend slumped over and died at the controls. The plane began to nose-dive and Robert grabbed the controls. He got on the radio and pleaded for help.
Nearby were two pilots who heard the call. Mount Comfort was the closest airport, and the two pilots gave Robert a steady stream of instructions of climbing, steering, and, the most dangerous part, landing.
Emergency vehicles were called out and ready for what seemed like an approaching disaster. Witnesses said the plane's nose bumped the runway and bounced a few times before the tail hit the ground. The Cessna ended up in a patch of soggy grass next to the runway. Amazingly, Robert Kuferschmid was not injured.
The reason being is that he listened and followed the instructions of the two other pilots as if his life depended on it…and it did!
v Whoever it is that sits in your balcony
Ø There is a voice that we must listen to as closely as Robert did
§ There ultimately has to be one voice that you follow and trust
· That you listen to above the rest
¨ That of your heavenly father
Ø And we must listen to it as if our life depended upon it!
v Look at how utterly dependent Jesus was on His heavenly father…
Ø After Jesus fed the 5,000 and the people questioned him
§ John 6:38
· For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me
¨ And this should be the way we live as well
v And when we live in this way…
Ø There is no guarantee that God will not lead you into some deserts in life
§ As He did Jesus
· There is a poem by Horatius Bonar that exhibits how dependent and broken we must be toward the voice of God in our balcony…
Thy way, not mine, O Lord, However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand; Choose Thou the path for me.
Smooth let it be or rough, It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads Right onward to Thy rest.
I dare not choose my lot; I would not if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God: So shall I walk aright.
Take Thou my cup, and it with joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem; Choose Thou my good and ill.
Choose Thou for me my friends, My sickness and my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me, My poverty or wealth.
Not mine, not mine the choice, In things great or small;
Be Thou my guide, my strength, My wisdom and my all in all.
v The balcony voice of God does not guarantee us an easy life
Ø But He does guarantee us a life full of purpose, purity and eternal life
v The second influence on our lives is that of the basement
Ø People in your past
v And if we look at Jesus’ genealogy
Ø The first thing we notice is that it is filled with faulty people
§ People who have failed and sinned in their lives
· There are many names here that we know nothing about
¨ But there are several that we do…
v Look at V. 27 ~ Zerubbabel
Ø After leading a faithful remnant back from the Babylonian exile
§ He failed to achieve what he set out to do and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem for 20 years
· It took the Word from God through two prophets to remind him of his divine mission
v Look at v. 31 ~ David
Ø Adultery, murder and pride were his downfall
v Look at v. 33 ~ Judah
Ø Indulged in prostitution
§ Not knowing that it was his daughter-in-law
v Look at v. 34 ~ Jacob
Ø Whose very name means “deceiver”
§ Tricked his older brother into selling his birthright
· And then deceived his father into giving him Esau’s blessing
v And then there is Abraham
Ø Who could not wait for God to fulfill his promise of a rightful heir
§ And slept with Hagar
v Look at v. 36 ~ Noah
Ø Described as the only righteous man on earth
§ But still sinful
· After the flood Noah is found drunk and passed out in his tent
v Jesus has laziness, adultery, murder, greed, pride, deceit, lying, faithlessness and drunkenness in his genealogy
Ø This is the stock from which Jesus came
§ What a basement!
v RQ: What about your basement?
Ø I don’t know much about your past
§ I don’t know what stock you came from
· I don’t know what genealogical history you have
¨ I don’t know what baggage you are carrying
Ø Alcoholism, addiction, abuse, abortion or adultery
v But I do know one thing
Ø Jesus is standing there ready to take that baggage from you and forgive you of your sins
There is an old legend about three men and their sacks. Each man had two sacks, one tied in front of his neck and the other tied on his back. When the first man was asked what was in his sacks, He replied, "In the front sack are all the good things I've done. I like to see them, so quite often I take them out to show them off to people. The sack in the back? I keep all my sins in there and carry them all the time. Sure they're heavy. They slow me down, but you know, for some reason I can't put them down."
The second man was asked about his sacks. He said, "In the sack on my back are all the good things friends and family have done. That way they're hidden from view. In the front sack are all the bad things that have happened to me, all the bitterness, all the offenses. Every now and then I stop, open the front sack, take the things out, examine them, and think about them." Because he stopped so much to concentrate on all the bad stuff, he really didn't make much progress in life.
When the third man was asked about his sacks, he answered, "The sack in front is great. There I keep all the blessings I've experienced, all the great things God has done for me. The weight isn't a problem. The sack is like sails of a ship. It keeps me going forward.
"The sack on my back is empty. There's nothing in it. There is a big hole in the bottom. In there I put all the bad things that have happened to me, all the sins and failings. They go in one end and out the other, so I'm not carrying around any extra weight at all."
v Jesus stands ready to cut a hole in the bag on your back
Ø 1 Jn 1:9
§ If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
Ø Augustine had his mother Monica (devout Christian and
Ø Teacher, mentor, friend, Spouse, brother, sister, Mother, Father
§ Hopefully you have some good Christians in your balcony
· RQ: But ultimately, what voice from the balcony do you listen to?
v We too must listen to the balcony voice of our heavenly father in the same way!
v Heb 12:2
Ø Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
v Very interesting why Luke places the genealogy here
Ø Don’t hear much about Joseph
Ø Must remember the influence and responsibility that Joseph had being the earthly father of Jesus
§ He taught Jesus to walk, talk…when older carpentry
§ He taught Jesus to obey the Law, brought him to temple sacrifices, the “Shema”
§ (Poss. Tact:
· But His baptism was not only a paradigm shift into full time ministry
¨ But it also represents much more
Ø Identifying with the people he was going to die for