Luke 3 John's Ministry; Genealogy of Jesus
Summary

Luke chapter three begins approximately eighteen years later. There were new political and religious leaders . John was now preaching in all the wilderness region around the Jordan River. He was telling people to “Prepare the way of the Lord.” He told them to “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” That would involve sharing with the needy, being honest, being considerate of others, and being content with their wages. John made clear that he was not the Christ but One was coming who was. Jesus also went to be baptized. When John baptized Jesus, a dove came out of heaven and a voice said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” At the end of the chapter, Jesus lineage is given all the way back to Adam.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[1] make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Question 1

Who were the rulers when the events of this chapter takes place?

Question 2

What was John’s message?

7He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Question 3

What did John call upon the people to do?

10And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[2] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[3] with you I am well pleased.”[4]

Question 4

What happened when Jesus was baptized?

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,[5] the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Question 5

Do you recognize any of the names in Jesus’ lineage? (for example, see verses 31 and 34).

People
  • John the Baptist
  • Preaching near the Jordan River

  • Herod Antipas
  • Put John in prison

  • Jesus
  • came to be baptized by John

Places
  • The Jordan River region
  • John preached in the area east and northeast of Jerusalem, and baptized people in the Jordan River.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

3In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,[1] make his paths straight. 5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”

Luke 3:1

Tiberius Caesar was the Roman Emperor (A.D. 14-37). John began to preach about A.D. 28/29.


Luke 3:1

Pontius Pilate was the Roman Governor of Judea (A.D. 26-36).


Luke 3:1

Herod Antipas was a son of Herod the Great who ruled in Palestine (A.D. 4-39).


Luke 3:2

Annas was High Priest from A.D. 6-15 when he was dismissed by the Romans. The Jews, however, seemed to continue to recognize him as the legitimate high priest.


Luke 3:2

Caiaphas was Annas’ son-in-law who was named High Priest (A.D. 18-37) and served during the adult life-time of Jesus.


Luke 3:3

John’s baptism was based on repentance and was for “the remission of sins.”


Luke 3:4

This quotation may be found in Isaiah 40:3-5. John called for the people to prepare for Jesus.

7He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Luke 3:9

Notice the symbol of judgment used here, “…the axe is laid to the root of the trees.”

10And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics[2] is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

15As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Luke 3:16

See Acts 1:5,8;Acts 2:2-4. The apostles of Jesus would be filled with the Holy Spirit on Pentecost and all would be impacted by that. Baptism with (in) the Holy Spirit represents God’s presence and power to cleanse and save; baptism with fire represents judgment (see vs.17).

18So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.

Luke 3:19

Because of his preaching, John was later imprisoned. He rebuked Herod for marrying his brother’s wife (seeMark 6:14-29;Matthew 14:1-12).

21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;[3] with you I am well pleased.”[4]

Luke 3:22

Here the Holy Spirit descended, the Father spoke from Heaven, as the Son was baptized. Some say the Father is the same as the Son (and also the holy Spriit)…therefore one Being. This passage indicates otherwise.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

23Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,[5] the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Luke 3:23-38

Notice Jesus’ lineage is traced all the way back to Adam. Matthew’s traces to Abraham. Luke is probably tracing the actual lineage through Mary (although naming the male forebears) while Matthew is tracing the legal lineage of Jesus through Joseph.

Perspectives

“Fruits worthy of repentance” involve living in a way that is beneficial to self and others: generosity (vs. 11); honesty (vs. 13); and justice (vs. 14).

Jesus was baptized, not because He had sinned or needed the remission of sins, but to become our role-model of complete obedience to God. And God showed His approval.

Jesus’ lineage justifies His claims to fulfill the promises to Abraham and to sit on the throne of David.