Luke Chapter 3 Continued
We have just learned in the previous lesson that many thought John the Baptist to be Messiah. John quickly tells them that he is not. He had explained by saying his baptism was of water and Jesus’ baptism was of fire. Now we will pick up in verse seventeen.
Luke 3:17 “Whose fan [is] in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.”
“Fan” is a winnowing fork, a tool for tossing grain into the wind so that the chaff is blown away.
This Scripture was saying He (Jesus), will stir up the people. He will separate the good (wheat), from the evil. This floor, probably, spiritually meant the whole world. He shall gather all believers together unto Him, and they shall become united in Him (the Bride of Christ).
“He will burn up the chaff” just meant the wicked shall burn eternally.
This is a prophetic statement by John speaking of the separation Jesus will make of His own from the evil on Judgment day. Christians are the wheat. The Lord will gather us unto Him, but the chaff (unbeliever), has nothing but the Lake of Fire to look forward to. This fan in His hand just means that He can get this all stirred up and going all by Himself.
When you fan a fire, it burns hotter. His floor will be clean, regardless of what must be done to cleanse it. Jesus taught the separation of good from evil here on the earth and also taught in the parable of the wheat and the chaff the different fates of the two. Notice (in verse 17), that it is Jesus who is the Judge.
Luke 3:18 “And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.”
Verse 40 of Acts chapter 2 is possibly speaking of the same thing.
Acts 2:40 “And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.”
You see that what both of these are saying is the same. John’s message was repent and be baptized. The thing that was different was that he spoke to each individual something that they could relate to. He preached what they needed to hear. He spoke loudly to some and to others in a gentle voice. He said whatever would touch their heart and cause them to repent.
Luke 3:19 “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,”
Herod was a very evil ruler. John the Baptist is beheaded by him later on as John’s ministry grows. John had told Herod that he was living in sin, because he had taken his own brother’s wife to live with. Strangely enough, Herod was afraid of John.
Luke 3:20 “Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.”
“Shut up John in prison”: This event actually occurred much later during Jesus’ ministry (Matt. 14:1-12; John 3:22-24). But Luke organized his material on John the Baptist topically rather than chronologically.
Herod knew that John was telling him the truth. Herod had great respect for John even though he put John in prison. As we said, Herod was afraid of John. Herod knew the people would follow John, if he asked them.
I really believe Herod’s greatest fear was not in John leading an army against him but was fear of John’s God. He didn’t like John going around telling that he should not be living with his brother Philip’s wife either.
Luke 3:21 “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,”
“Baptized”: Christ was here identifying Himself with sinners. He will ultimately bear their sins; His perfect righteousness will be imputed to them (2 Cor. 5:21). This act of baptism was a necessary part of the righteousness He secured for sinners.
This does not mean that the whole countryside was baptized. It just means “all” of the people who “wanted” to be baptized. In other words Jesus didn’t come in and stop others so that He might be baptized first. The other gospels do not mention prayer at the baptism. It appears that Jesus was praying, and the heaven opened.
“And praying”: Luke alone notes that Jesus was praying. Prayer is one of Luke’s themes.
Luke 3:22 “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”
“Holy Ghost”: All 3 persons of the Trinity are distinguishable in this verse, a strong proof against the heresy of modalism, which suggests that God is one Person who manifests Himself in 3 distinct modes, one at a time.
“In a bodily shape”: I.e., physical and visible to all (Matt. 3:16; John 1:32).
“Like a dove”: A picture of gentleness (Matt. 10:16).
“My beloved Son”: “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).
We see here God the Father speaking from heaven, God the Son being baptized, and God the Holy Ghost appearing as a dove. We have discussed in these lessons, over and over, that God is a Spirit and can appear in any form He wants to.
The Dove however, throughout Scripture symbolizes the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. We see at Jesus’ baptism the Godhead. The Father approved everything Jesus did. Those who heard this voice should never have a doubt who Jesus was.
We should never forget that Jesus was then, and always will be God: God the Word before He came to earth and God the Son for His stay on earth. The Spirit of God dwelled in Him. Jesus was baptized not for His own benefit (he didn’t need to be baptized), but for ours. He wanted to show us that being baptized was important.
Verses 3:23-38: Luke’s genealogy moves backward from Jesus to Adam; and Matthew’s moves forward from Abraham to Joseph. Luke’s entire section from Joseph to David differs starkly from that given by Matthew. The two genealogies are easily reconciled if Luke’s is seen as Mary’s genealogy, and Matthew’s version represents Joseph’s.
As Mary’s genealogy, and Matthew’s version represents Joseph’s. Thus the royal line is passed through Jesus’ legal father, and His physical descent from David is established by Mary’s lineage. Luke, unlike Matthew, includes no women in his genealogy, even Mary herself.
Joseph was “the son of Eli” by marriage (Eli having no sons of his own), and thus is named here (in verse 23), as the representative of Mary’s generation. Moses himself established precedent for this sort of substitution (in Num. 27:1-11; 36:1-12). The men listed from Eli (verse 23), to Rhesa (verse 27), are found nowhere else in Scripture. Zerubbabel and Shealtiel (verse 27), are the only two names here that correspond to names in Matthew’s genealogy between David and Jesus.
Luke 3:23 “And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was [the son] of Heli,”
“About thirty years of age”: Luke was probably not fixing an exact age. Rather, this was an approximation, 30 being a customary age for entering into the office of prophet (Ezek. 1:1); priest (Num. 4:3, 35, 39, 43, 47), or king (Gen. 41:46; 2 Sam. 5:4).
“As was supposed”: Luke had already established the fact of the virgin birth (1:34-35); here he made clear once again that Joseph was not Jesus’ true father.
Genealogies are given for man. This is why it was necessary to show the genealogy of Joseph, who was not even Jesus’ Father. The world thought that Jesus was Joseph’s son so the line had to show back from Joseph to David. This genealogy differs in a few ways from Matthew. This genealogy goes back to Adam and God, whereas the one in Matthew begins with Abraham.
Very good records were kept in the Hebrews’ line of King David. As I said, genealogies are kept for the world, not for God. We will not belabor the point here. Note that Jesus was 30 years old when His official ministry began. The fact of Him being 30, shows us that God is dealing with mankind (world government).
Also, Hebrew men in the service of God began their ministry at 30.
Luke 3:24-26 “Which was [the son] of Matthat, which was [the son] of Levi, which was [the son] of Melchi, which was [the son] of Janna, which was [the son] of Joseph,” “Which was [the son] of Mattathias, which was [the son] of Amos, which was [the son] of Nahum, which was [the son] of Esli, which was [the son] of Naggai,” “Which was [the son] of Maath, which was [the son] of Mattathias, which was [the son] of Semei, which was [the son] of Joseph, which was [the son] of Judah,”
You may notice that the names are not always identical in Matthew and Luke. Possibly, the place that each of them got the records from spelled them a little different. I do not believe that to be important. The names that are significant are the same in both lines.
Luke 3:27-29 “Which was [the son] of Joanna, which was [the son] of Rhesa, which was [the son] of Zerubbabel, which was [the son] of Salathiel, which was [the son] of Neri,” “Which was [the son] of Melchi, which was [the son] of Addi, which was [the son] of Cosam, which was [the son] of Elmodam, which was [the son] of Er,” “Which was [the son] of Jose, which was [the son] of Eliezer, which was [the son] of Jorim, which was [the son] of Matthat, which was [the son] of Levi,”
These descendants mentioned in Luke many believe to be the line to Jesus through Mary, even though it is not stated at the outset.
Luke 3:30-31 “Which was [the son] of Simeon, which was [the son] of Judah, which was [the son] of Joseph, which was [the son] of Jonan, which was [the son] of Eliakim,” “Which was [the son] of Melea, which was [the son] of Menan, which was [the son] of Mattatha, which was [the son] of Nathan, which was [the son] of David,”
It is very important to the Hebrews for David to be in the direct lineage of Jesus. They expected Messiah to be a strong man of war like David. They thought Messiah would free them from the Roman rule.
Luke 3:32 “Which was [the son] of Jesse, which was [the son] of Obed, which was [the son] of Boaz, which was [the son] of Salmon, which was [the son] of Nahshon,”
We see in this “Boaz”, the husband of Ruth, that there were Hebrew and Gentile roots. You see, Ruth was a Moabite woman (Gentile). Ruth, a Gentile, and Boaz, a Hebrew, were in the direct lineage of Jesus.
Luke 3:33 “Which was [the son] of Amminadab, which was [the son] of Ram, which was [the son] of Hezron, which was [the son] of Pharez, which was [the son] of Judah,”
We know that Jesus was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Here we see Judah in the lineage.
Luke 3:34 “Which was [the son] of Jacob, which was [the son] of Isaac, which was [the son] of Abraham, which was [the son] of Terah, which was [the son] of Nahor,”
Of course, this is one of the most important genealogy connections, because the promise was to come through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This shows covenant connection.
Luke 3:35-36 “Which was [the son] of Serug, which was [the son] of Ragau, which was [the son] of Peleg, which was [the son] of Eber, which was [the son] of Selah,” “Which was [the son] of Cainan, which was [the son] of Arphaxad, which was [the son] of Shem, which was [the son] of Noah, which was [the son] of Lamech,”
We see here, the Hebrew nation came from Shem. In our Genesis study, we go into Noah’s three sons starting the three types of people. The Negroid, Asiatics, and the Caucasians. We see the Hebrews as descendants of Shem. We also see Noah, who was saved from world destruction.
Luke 3:37-38 “Which was [the son] of Methuselah, which was [the son] of Enoch, which was [the son] of Jared, which was [the son] of Mahalaleel, which was [the son] of Cainan,” “Which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of God.”
Seth, you remember, was the son given to Adam and Eve to replace Abel who Cain killed. His line was the godly line.
Luke Chapter 3 Continued Questions
1. Many thought John the Baptist to be whom?
2. How did John explain that he was not who they thought?
3. What happens to the chaff?
4. Who separates the evil and the good on judgment day?
5. What was John’s message?
6. What had John told Herod that disturbed him?
7. What did Herod do to John?
8. Why was Herod afraid of John?
9. Who baptized Jesus?
10. What is said in Luke that is not in the other gospels?
11. How did the Holy Ghost appear at the baptism?
12. What did God the Father do at Jesus’ baptism?
13. What symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God?
14. How old was Jesus when He was baptized?
15. Who are genealogies given for?
16. This genealogy in Luke is believed by many to be whose?
17. Messiah was to come in whose line?
18. Hebrew men in the service of God began at what age?
19. Jesus was the Lion of the tribe of ___________.
20. What did the Hebrews expect Messiah to be like?
21. What is significant about Booz?
22. Why are Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob important in the lineage of Jesus?
23. Of Noah’s three sons, which one did the Hebrews descend from?
24. What do the 3 sons of Noah represent?
25. Who did Seth replace?
26. Of Adam and Eve’s sons, which did the godly line descend from?