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Luke 3:15-38

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 12, 2015


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Israel – We are going to change the tour dates to Nov. 30-Dec.12, or Petra until Dec. 15.

Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing his book, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

We’ve seen the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist.

His message was “the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins”, or, telling people to get baptized as a sign of their own repentance, the repentance resulting from the forgiveness of sins.

3:15-18 Who is John?

:15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,

:15 were in expectationprosdokao – to expect (whether in thought, in hope, or in fear); to look for, wait for

There were a group of the Jews who were actually looking for and expecting the Messiah to come.

:15 reasoneddialogizomai – to bring together different reasons, to reckon up the reasons, to reason, revolve in one’s mind, deliberate

:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

:16 mightierischuros – strong, mighty

Comparative, “might-ier”

:16 worthyhikanos – sufficient; many enough, enough

:16 straphimas – a thong of leather, a strap

:16 sandalhupodema – what is bound under, a sandal, a sole fastened to the foot with thongs

:16 One mightier than I is coming

The people were on the lookout for the Messiah, but John makes sure the people know that He is not the One.



Throughout John’s ministry, he constantly made sure that people were looking to Jesus, not him.
Early in his ministry, he told his own disciples to follow after Jesus, not him.
(John 1:35–37 NKJV) —35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
When asked if he was bothered because Jesus was drawing bigger crowds than he was, John responded:
(John 3:30 NKJV) He must increase, but I must decrease.
God is looking to work through humble people, not proud people.
(1 Peter 5:5b–6 NKJV) …be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
Paul wrote,
(Philippians 2:3–4 NKJV) —3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

In basketball, there is a statistic called “assists”.  This is when you throw the ball to another player so they can score the points.

Humility is helping others make the big play and get credit for the points.

Video:  State Farm Chris Paul Assists

Ultimately, the best person to throw the ball to is not Blake Griffin, but Jesus.

John was faithful to point people to the one who could really help, Jesus.

:16 He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit

The word “baptize” means to “immerse”.

John immersed in water.
Jesus immerses us in the Holy Spirit.
Just as John immersed people in water, Jesus would be immersing people in the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem…

(Acts 1:5 NKJV) for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Jesus went on to explain,

(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Some people mistakenly teach that the true result of the baptism of the Spirit is speaking in tongues (which may happen), but Jesus said it was power or “ability” to be His witnesses.

It happened the first time on the day of Pentecost, almost two months after Jesus rose from the dead.

(Acts 2:1–4 NKJV) —1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
It happened as they were gathered in a prayer meeting.
Note that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is also called the “filling” of the Spirit.
They did indeed speak in tongues.

But Peter would also stand up and preach about Jesus with three thousand people believing in Jesus.



You just have to be thirsty for it.
Video:  Mountain Dew Master

You don’t have to be a Kung Fu master to get a drink.

You too can be filled with the Holy Spirit.
(John 7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John goes on to say that Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, which would fill them at Pentecost.
Do you have a thirst?  Do you need God’s power in your life?
Then come to Jesus.  He’s the one who will fill you with the Spirit.
Drink, receive, and believe.

It doesn’t come when you “feel” something, but when you “believe” something.

:16 and fire

Often this “fire” is linked by folks to the baptism of the Holy Spirit, as if Spirit Baptism is a “fiery” thing.

Some folks say this means that if you are baptized with the Holy Ghost then you will get all excited, jump up and down, scream, and do all sorts of things.

The disciples did indeed have “tongues as of fire” on them on the day of Pentecost, but if you keep reading, John explains the fire.

:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

:18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.

:17 winnowing fanptuon – a winnowing shovel

:17 thoroughly clean outdiakatharizo – to cleanse thoroughly

:17 threshing floorhalon – a ground plot or threshing floor, i.e. a place in the field made hard after the harvest by a roller, where grain was threshed out

:17 gathersunago – to gather together, to gather

:17 wheatsitos – wheat, grain

:17 barnapotheke – a place in which anything is laid by or up; a storehouse, granary

:17 chaffachuron – a stalk of grain from which the kernels have been beaten out; straw broken up by a threshing machine, chaff

:17 He will burnkatakaio – to burn up, consume by fire

:17 unquenchableasbestos – unquenched, unquenchable; of eternal hell fire to punish the damned

:18 exhortationsparakaleo – to call to one’s side, call for, summon; to address, speak to, (call to, call upon), which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.

:18 he preachedeuaggelizo – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings

:17 burn with unquenchable fire

The first time Jesus came it was to baptize us with the Holy Spirit.

The second time Jesus comes it will be to baptize the world with fire.

When you harvest wheat, you separate the wheat kernel from the stalk by tossing it up in the air.  The wind blows the chaff away from the wheat.

This process is called “winnowing”.
The wheat kernel is edible, the stalk or chaff is not.
You save the kernel and grind it into wheat.
You burn up the useless chaff.

John paints a picture of a time when the bad will be separated from the good, and the bad will be burnt.

It’s a picture of judgment.

Jesus talked about the same principle with similar pictures.

He talked about separating the sheep from the goats (Mat. 25:31-46)
He talked about a dragnet catching a huge catch of fish and separating out the good from the bad (Mat. 13:47-50).



There will be a time when God will judge the world.
Every person will stand to account for their lives before God.
Every sin will be accounted for.
There is only one way to avoid God’s judgment.
(John 3:16–17 NKJV) —16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

God loves you so much He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins.

God wants you to trust in His Son.

3:19-20 Herod and John

:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,

:20 also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.

:19 Herod the tetrarch

This is Herod Antipas.

:19 being rebukedelegcho – to convict generally with a suggestion of shame of the person convicted; to find fault with, correct; to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, reprove

:20 he shut … upkatakleio – to shut up, confine

:20 prisonphulake – guard, watch; of the place where captives are kept, a prison

:19 rebuked by him concerning Herodias

Herodias had been the wife of Herod’s half brother Philip while they lived in Rome.  Philip was also Herodias’ uncle.

When Herod Antipas (our current Herod) visited Rome, he seduced her and persuaded her to leave her husband and marry him.

John openly rebuked Herod for his immorality.

There may be times when we too need to speak up.


Charles Stanley writes,
A woman in our church was married for only a short time when she found out her husband was a homosexual.  Soon after, he left her. As I talked with her, she said something I shall never forget. "After I was divorced, several of my friends came to me and said they knew he was gay.  When I asked them why they didn't say anything to me, they said, 'We didn't think it was any of our business.'"
Her friends were dead wrong.  They violated a scriptural principle.  After hearing her story, I made up my mind never to stand by quietly and watch a friend make what I was sure in my heart was a mistake.  This resolution has made me very unpopular at times. People have left my church over things I have confronted them about. But when I start thinking that maybe I should keep my mouth shut, I always remember what Solomon said, "He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue (Proverbs 28:23)."

:20 he shut John up in prison

Luke is getting a little ahead of himself.  John won’t actually be put into prison until sometime after Jesus is baptized.

It is probable that John’s ministry was only about three years, one year in public preaching, and two years in prison.

3:21-22 Jesus is baptized

:21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.

:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

:22 descendedkatabaino – to go down, come down, descend

:22 bodilysomatikos – corporeal, bodily

:22 formeidos – the external or outward appearance, form figure, shape

:22 doveperistera – a dove

:22 belovedagapetos – beloved, esteemed, dear, favorite, worthy of love

:22 well pleasedeudokeo – it seems good to one, is one’s good pleasure; to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, to be favorably inclined towards one

:22 the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove

John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit falling on Jesus.

(John 1:32–34 NKJV) —32 And John bore witness, saying, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.”


There are some people that have the strange idea that Jesus didn’t become the Messiah until His baptism.  Others hold to a similar idea that Jesus didn’t become the Son of God until the baptism, when the Holy Spirit came upon Him.
A.T. Robertson –
“We are not to understand that this was the beginning of the Incarnation of Christ as the Cerinthian Gnostics held. But this fresh influx of the Holy Spirit may have deepened the Messianic consciousness of Jesus and certainly revealed him to the Baptist as God’s Son.”


Ministry begins with the Spirit

This would fulfill a prophecy in Isaiah, describing the Messiah’s ministry:
(Isaiah 61:1 NKJV) “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

It’s the Holy Spirit that “anoints” us, that qualifies and equips us for the work that God has for us.

Even Jesus didn’t start His official ministry until He had the Holy Spirit come upon Him.

It can’t be manufactured or conjured up by our human, fleshly efforts.
A traveling evangelist always put on a grand finale at his revival meetings. When he was to preach at a church, he would secretly hire a small boy to sit in the ceiling rafters with a dove in a cage. Toward the end of his sermon, the preacher would shout for the Holy Spirit to come down, and the boy in the rafters would dutifully release the dove. At one revival meeting, however, nothing happened when the preacher called for the Holy Spirit to descend. He again raised his arms and exclaimed: “Come down, Holy Spirit!” Still no sign of the dove. The preacher then heard the anxious voice of the small boy call down from the rafters: “Sir, a yellow cat just ate the Holy Spirit. Shall I throw down the yellow cat?”
From E.M. Bounds, “Power Through Prayer” in the section titled “14. Unction (Holy Spirit Anointing) a Necessity”.
This unction is the art of preaching. The preacher who never had this unction never had the art of preaching. The preacher who has lost this unction has lost the art of preaching. Whatever other arts he may have and retain—the art of sermon-making, the art of eloquence, the art of great, clear thinking, the art of pleasing an audience—he has lost the divine art of preaching. This unction makes God’s truth powerful and interesting, draws and attracts, edifies, convicts, saves.  This unction vitalizes God’s revealed truth, makes it living and life-giving. Even God’s truth spoken without this unction is light, dead, and deadening. Though abounding in truth, though weighty with thought, though sparkling with rhetoric, though pointed by logic, though powerful by earnestness, without this divine unction it issues in death and not in life. Mr. Spurgeon says: “I wonder how long we might beat our brains before we could plainly put into word what is meant by preaching with unction. Yet he who preaches knows its presence, and he who hears soon detects its absence. Samaria, in famine, typifies a discourse without it. Jerusalem, with her feast of fat things, full of marrow, may represent a sermon enriched with it. Everyone knows what the freshness of the morning is when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass, but who can describe it, much less produce it of itself? Such is the mystery of spiritual anointing. We know, but we cannot tell to others what it is. It is as easy as it is foolish, to counterfeit it. Unction is a thing which you cannot manufacture, and its counterfeits are worse than worthless. Yet it is, in itself, priceless, and beyond measure needful if you would edify believers and bring sinners to Christ.”
We may have many ideas of what it means to be under the “power” of the Holy Spirit, but some of our ideas are wrong.
Yes, the disciples had “tongues of fire” on their heads, but Jesus had a gentle dove on His.
Be careful not to turn away from anything that the Father wants to do for you.

(Luke 11:9–13 NKJV) —9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

:22 My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased

Notice the work of the trinity here.

The Son is being baptized.
The Holy Spirit descended.
The Father spoke.

There is an ancient heresy (“modalism” - still found today) that says that there is only one God who has manifested Himself in different ways through history.

They say that in the Old Testament God was the “Father”.
In the New Testament, God becomes Jesus.
After the resurrection, God becomes the Holy Spirit.
So explain what is happening here.
All three are present at Jesus’ baptism.

3:23-38 Jesus’ Genealogy

:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,

:23 began His ministry at about thirty years of age

Luke is only giving us a general idea of Jesus’ age, not an exact age.

The age of 30 is a good time to start ministry.

Joseph was thirty years old when he started serving Pharaoh. (Gen. 41:46)
(Genesis 41:46 NKJV) —46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
The Levites served in the temple from age thirty to fifty. (Num. 4:3)
(Numbers 4:3 NKJV) —3 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.
David was thirty years old when he became king. (2Sam. 5:4)
(2 Samuel 5:4 NKJV) —4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.

:23 beganarchomai – to be the first to do (anything), to begin; to begin, make a beginning

:23 was supposednomizo – to hold by custom or usage, own as a custom or usage, to follow a custom or usage; it is the custom, it is the received usage; to deem, think, suppose

:23 being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph

Note that Luke is careful not to say that Jesus was the son of Joseph, but only that He was “supposed” or thought to have been the son of Joseph.

Different lines

Luke and Matthew give us different genealogies.
Matthew begins his Gospel with the genealogy, establishing the connection between the OT and with Israel. 

Luke waits until the major part of John the Baptist’s ministry is over, after Jesus’ baptism.

Matthew begins with Abraham, stressing Jesus’ Jewish heritage.

Luke goes in reverse order, and takes it all the way back to Adam, stressing Jesus’ connection with the entire human race.

Matthew groups his names symmetrically, in groups of fourteen.  He skips names.

Luke simply lists the names.

Matthew traces the genealogy to David through his son Solomon.

Luke traces the genealogy to David through Solomon’s older brother Nathan. (1Chr. 3:5)  Both sons had Bathsheba as their mother.

(1 Chronicles 3:5 NKJV) —5 And these were born to him in Jerusalem: Shimea, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon—four by Bathshua the daughter of Ammiel.

It’s the part from David to Jesus that is so different between the genealogies.

Why Two Lines?

There have been several suggestions as to why the genealogies differ between David and Jesus, but I think the best explanation is –
Matthew gives us the genealogy of Joseph.

Joseph’s line comes through the royal line, the kings.

Joseph’s line gives us the legal claim to the throne of David.

Luke gives us the genealogy of Mary.

Luke has already given us more detail about Mary so far, giving us the idea that he spent time with her getting her recollection of events.

Though Mary’s line also comes from David, hers is through a different son of David (Nathan) who didn’t rule as king.

Mary’s line points to Adam, showing Jesus’ humanity.

Mary’s line gives us the actual, physical claim to the throne of David (since Joseph wasn’t his biological father – God was).

Note:  Both lines seem to converge and run through Shealtiel and Zerubbabel, but since Luke’s genealogy has different fathers and grandfathers of Shealtiel, it makes me wonder if these aren’t simply different fellows than the ones in the kingly line.  There are others in the lineage who have names that are common in other places in the Bible but aren’t the same person (ie Joseph, Er, Levi, Simeon, several Judahs, Eliakim, etc.).

Solving Problems

God promised David that the Messiah would be one of his descendants. (2Sam. 7:11-14)
(2 Samuel 7:11–14 NKJV) —11 since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 12 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
There would be two problems:
1.  How could the Messiah be a descendant of David and yet be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14), and the “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15)?

Jesus had the legal claim to the throne through his adopted dad, Joseph.

Jesus had the actual physical lineage through his mother Mary.

2.  The kingly line of David had a problem.

One of the last kings, Jeconiah, was cursed by God, and was promised not to have any descendants sitting on the throne (Jer. 22:30)

(Jeremiah 22:30 NKJV) —30 Thus says the Lord: ‘Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.’ ”

Yet Jeconiah was one of those listed in Matthew’s list (Mat. 1:11-12).

How could both be true?  How could Messiah come from David, yet not through Jeconiah?

Because Jesus physically came through Mary’s line, which didn’t include Jeconiah.

Luke will take the genealogy backward to David, to Abraham, to Noah, and …

skip to …

:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph,

:25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,

:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,

:27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,

:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,

:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,

:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim,

:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,

:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,

:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,

:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,

:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan,

:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

:38 the son of Adam, the son of God

Adam was the first “son of God”, the created “son of God”. He fell from that position when he sinned.

Jesus was truly the “son of God” because God was actually His father through the virgin Mary.

Jesus came as the “second Adam”, to bring mankind back into relationship with God.

:22 You are My beloved Son


God loves me too

We don’t have a problem with the Father telling Jesus that He loves Him and is well pleased with Him.
Did you know that God loves you as much as He loves Jesus?
(John 17:23 NKJV) I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
When you become a child of God by believing in Jesus, you will find that God loves you as much as He loves Jesus.
This is why God sent His Son Jesus to die for us.  Because He loved us.
(Romans 8:31–34 NKJV) —31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Do you need God today?  Do you need His love and forgiveness?