John Baptizes Jesus
(Luke 3:15-35)

 Father God we come humbly before you this evening with reverence and adoration, bowing down before you. We confess our sins before you and ask for your cleansing power to wash us. Direct our thoughts to you O God. We confess that without you we are nothing. We are in need of your grace and power. Watch over us dear Father. Give us your peace and joy. Help us focus on your Word, and receive Bread from Heaven tonight!

Servant - Jesus we welcome your Holy Spirit in this place have your way here as we study your word let it sink in our hearts and let us take action using it as our guide in Jesus name we pray. satan we bind all your ways and tricks and cast you out in Jesus name you are not welcome here in this chat room in Jesus name we pray amen

satan we bind you and rebuke you and cast you out of this holy place. We bind you before, during and after the study. In Jesus Name you shall not oppress God's servants.

Holy Spirit, as always, YOU are the teacher. Anoint our hearts to receive, our eyes to see, our ears to hear, and our mouths to speak the Word.

OlePappy - Yes Father, Lord of Lords, for the Word that you have given us. In the sweet name of Jesus, AMEN

Jesus we thank you for the cross! We thank you for your everlasting love! We praise your Holy Name. AMEN and AMEN Father we ask your anointing to fill the very wires, cables and components of each and every computer so that your Word can go out and be glorified.

Hallelujah! Last time we were in Luke 3 and studying about John the Baptist. Who can tell me what he was preaching about?

harl - The baptism of repentance and remission of sins.

GaL4GoD - The coming of Jesus ??

Right! What is repentance?

LilBoo - Asking for forgiveness of your sins.

harl - OT, a godly sorrow for the sins we have committed that is brought to our attention through the preaching of the gospel.

ATHIE - Repentance is being sorry for our sins and asking for forgiveness

biiy3 - acknowledging that you are a sinner before the LORD

GaL4GoD - Metanoia- a change or alteration of mind

Asking for forgiveness as a result of "godly sorrow" - being grieved over your wrongdoing AND turning in the other direction. What practical advice did John have for those who repented, such as the tax collectors and soldiers?

Servant - collect no more than what is appointed unto you

harl - In general, be fair and just in their dealings with the people according to their conscience.

GaL4GoD - to do no more that which you have done

OlePappy - and to the soldiers...take no money by force

harl - OT, he told the soldiers to do violence to no man.

After repentance, our lives should change and show what John called the "fruits of repentance" - such as sharing what we have, NOT cheating others, and being content with our pay. John also had words of condemnation for those who thought since they were children of Abraham they did not need to repent.

John 3:15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ.

After 400 years of prophetic silence, the expectation of Messiah was at a fever pitch in Israel, similar to our feeling that the Second Coming is near. The people were wondering if perhaps this wild preacher from the desert were the Messiah. "Evidently, John had to continually declare that he was not the Messiah, but simply His forerunner" (3:15).

harl - OT, why would the people think that John was the Christ?

Servant - they wanted a messiah so bad

Sherry - Because of his gift to minister and baptize others?

harl - OT, John was doing something that no other was doing. Getting the people ready to meet the messiah. Not even the priests were doing that. God had John doing his job and the people thought that John's job was all.

ATHIE - The time period was right for Messiah.

OlePappy - And because of his call for repentance

LilBoo - Because his ability to baptize.

harl - OT, the people did not know that the enemy that the messiah was going to set them free from was Satan. They thought that they would be free of the Roman emperor.

Every once in a while, a "messiah" would show up, and lead a rebellion against Rome. And would be followed by the people. Perhaps because of John's zeal they thought he was the one to lead them. Like today, people are so spiritually hungry, they'll follow almost anyone who can halfway "preach" without really examining their credentials.

GaL4GoD - or any religion that sounds good

But John was very careful to let them know he was only the forerunner of the Messiah - the one who prepared the way.

Luke 3:16-17 John answered them all, "I baptize you with [in] water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

So much greater was the coming Messiah that John was unworthy to perform the tasks of a servant (3:16). John taught the people that the Messiah would baptize them in the Holy Spirit and with fire." "This looked forward to Christ's ministry and Pentecost, when the apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit ."

Diamond Lady - it is interesting that in a cross reference in Matt 3:11 that John doesn't even feel worthy to even carry Jesus sandals... NOT even carry them... wow the humbleness that John had that he feels that he isn't even worthy... for me that is a heavy statement...

biiy3 - It shows us how we are to be in our relationship with God

And as DL says, realized he wasn't even good enough to carry Jesus sandals. John's prophetic vision carried him beyond Jesus' earthly life to His return in judgement. The threshing floor provided a dramatic figure to describe that judgement. Does anyone know what a "threshing floor" was?

Servant - was it where the chaff was separated from the tares?

OK, back in olden times they couldn't just go to a store and pick up a loaf of bread. They had to grow the grain, harvest it and prepare it to make flour.

Diamond Lady - that is where they threw the sheaves... wheat etc.. for gathering right

ATHIE - A place where the grain straw and seed was separated.

When the grain was harvested, it was in stalks with wheat berries at the top. They had to separate the wheat berries from the rest, called "chaff" so that they could just get the wheat. They did this at the threshing floor. In Palestine a threshing floor was a bare rock or an earthen surface leveled and packed hard. It was located where a strong breeze would blow across it. The sheaves of grain were laid out on this and a heavy sledge was pulled over them with flails. This helped chop up the grain and loosen the wheat berries.

Then the farmer would toss the wheat into the air with a wooden fork or shovel and the chaff or straw would blow away, and the heavier grain would fall to the floor. The wheat was heavier and would fall back to the ground, but the chaff would be blown away.

Then the grain, or wheat berries, would be further sifted and stored until later. The straw and chaff would either be used to feed the livestock or be burnt.

All that work, and we still don't have the bread! The wheat berries had to be ground into flour (what we call "whole wheat" today), and then mixed with oil and yeast to be baked!

Diamond Lady - OT... is this a parable in which John tries to show the people that they need to separate themselves from the sin and wickedness and strive for purity....much as the wheat is separated...

So God's people will be gathered into His city forever, but those who reject Him will be baptized in unquenchable fire.

harl - OT, great point. The wheat went through the same process the chaff did. But the behavior of the wheat separated it from the chaff. Christians are "heavy"

So we have two "baptisms of fire" if you will, one for the believers (the baptism in the Holy Spirit and with fire) and one for the unbelievers (the chaff - burning in unquenchable fire). The problems and troubles we go through as Christians are called "fiery trials", and we are told that our works will be "tested by fire".

I Corinthians 3:13 his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.

Hebrews 12:28 -29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."

Servant - through the trials our fruits will be revealed

biiy3 - yes and trials will also refine us

forgiven - Servant> the assurance of that makes the trials worthwhile

When I read John's sermon, it reminds me how awesome God is and makes me evaluate my "works". Are they the kind that will be tested by fire and survive? Now we aren't SAVED by our works, of course, but what we do for God is important.

harl - OT, our works show that we are saved. Just like the works of the wheat and the works of the chaff show what is to be consumed.

Luke 3:18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them. How could this be good news, all this talk of vipers, repentance and judgement? "The good news that John preached was that God had provided a way of escape from the terrors of judgement."

GaL4GoD - It was the news of the Son of God...always Good News

We had a Solemn Assembly in church last week where we repented of our collective sins and humbled ourselves before God. It was awesome in that place! And I realized that repentance is not only a necessity for salvation, not only a duty, not only our only access to cleansing, but an awesome privilege and gift!

biiy3 - by His victory at Calvary we are set FREE!

It is GOOD NEWS that God will allow us to repent. It is GOOD NEWS that He cleanses us. And it is GOOD NEWS that He saves us from the judgement to come!

Now think of the next verse as in parenthesis - a comment about what happens to John later, after he baptizes Jesus.

Luke 3:19-20 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother's wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

Why was John put in prison (v. 19-20)? For rebuking Herod for his evil deeds, including taking his brother Philip's wife, Herodias. "It was nearly a year later when John was put in prison, but Luke records it here to finish the story of his public preaching.'

The Herod's were an evil bunch, from the guy that killed all the babies when Jesus was born, to this one, who committed adultery with his sister-in-law. And John was not afraid to speak out. He wasn't concerned with being "politically correct". He preached repentance and morality. OH do we need a John the Baptist today!

But keep in mind that John was imprisoned for preaching righteousness, like many of the early believers, and like a lot of believers around the world today. We need to ask ourselves, would I be willing to suffer so for my Lord? There is a web site that tells about martyrs for Christ in our world today, particularly Pakistan.

Servant - and look at Stephen he wasn't afraid either and look what happened to him are we really serious about our relationship with Him?

harl - OT, you made a statement that we repent, then we are cleansed and are saved from judgment. What happens after the cleansing and before judgment?

GaL4GoD - and that is all, we are too afraid of what people will think or say not being thrown into prison

We live for Christ harl, and are kept cleansed by repentance of sin and renewal of our minds by the Holy Spirit. I want to be clean. I desire to be pleasing to God. How would you live for Him otherwise? For the Lord to say, Welcome my servant I am well pleased with you! That is my greatest desire.

Servant - much more than deeds does he want our fellowship and a daily relationship with us

harl - OT, even though John did what he did, he was not counted in the Kingdom of God by Christ. Why?

John was the forerunner of the kingdom and technically died before the kingdom was manifested.

Luke 3:21-22 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."

"Jesus had never rebelled against the Father's will for his life, so he did not need to be baptized for repentance. Why did Jesus need to be baptized?

harl - OT, good point. But as Jesus said suffer that all righteousness be fulfilled. He did it because he wanted us to do it.

Servant - he was in the flesh and was being an example?

Right harl, Matthew 3:15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

biiy3 - Jesus had to fulfill the law

Abram - I guess to set an example for us, OldTimer....

biiy3 - and He did it in obedience to the Father

Lady of Zion† - To fulfill the scriptures...?

Diamond Lady - to fill the prophecy in the old testament

Abram - to fulfill the law..

Jesus was baptized "to fulfill all righteousness". What do you think this means? What is righteousness?

Abram - righteousness is Jesus and God believing......but some people believe it is being perfect.

Z - the right order of God....walking in righteousness right in His will …being open to His direction always...

Warrior Apostle - Be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of our minds that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect, will of God!

Righteousness is being in right standing with God, without sin and pleasing to Him. We are unable to do this ourselves, which is why JESUS is our righteousness.

harl - He came in the "likeness" of sinful flesh. He was the only one in the position to show us what had to be done. He wanted us to know, "I did it, now you do it"

prodigal son - Goodness, morality and purity

The baptism indicated that he was consecrated to God and officially approved by him. All God's righteous requirements for the Messiah were fully met in Jesus.

John 1:31-34 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel." Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, `The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.' I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God."

OlePappy - I am made perfect because of the blood of the lamb

Another reason Jesus was baptized was to be revealed as the Messiah. John's gospel reveals that Jesus was baptized to reveal Jesus to Israel as the Son of God, by the witness of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Although Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God, he was made to be sin for us. Jesus was baptized to identify with our need for cleansing, becoming our substitute.

Hebrews 2:17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.

Jesus was baptized to identify with us, and to be an example for His followers. So Jesus was baptized to "fulfill all righteousness", to reveal that He is the Christ, to identify with us and to be an example for us.

OlePappy - perfect because of the Blood...I myself am very imperfect...but the Blood of the Lamb made me Perfect in His sight

harl - OT, Jesus did want to identify with man, Son of Man and he wanted us to identify with him, Sons of God.

forgiven - OT - What a blessed thought, that one so imperfect as I can be called perfect in the sight of a holy God by the Blood of His dear Son

The Bible says that Jesus had well pleased God (v. 22) before He even began His ministry. What had he done so far?

Abram - He followed the rules God had given him. =)

Right Abram. He had been obedient to His earthly parents, had learned a trade, had studied the Law and followed it. For 30 years, the Son of God had lived quietly among men, preparing Himself for His task.

Servant - showing that he was human

Think about it - we don't have to have a splashy ministry, or be known of men to please God and be loved by Him. Be obedient right where you are, humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and he will exalt you in due time! "Evidently no one thought of Him as unusual or anything more than a common man. The people of His day certainly did not point to Him and exclaim, "There is God!"

Matthew 3:13-15 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

Matthew's account tells us that John at first refused to baptize Jesus. We do not know how well acquainted the two men were. Their mothers were relatives (Luke 1:36), and probably they had met in Jerusalem at the annual feasts. Possibly John had been told about the angel's prediction before Jesus was born (Luke 1:32,33).

GaL4GoD - proper to fulfill God's desires and be approved by God??

Right G4G. Apparently John knew that Jesus was without sin. Jesus, however, insisted that He be baptized. John was persuaded when he understood that his ministry was really an extension of the Old Testaments requirements. Just as it was necessary for Jesus to be circumcised and attend the prescribed feasts, so it was necessary for Him to be baptized ... to fulfill all of the law's requirements.

Jesus baptism gave an opportunity for God to give His stamp of approval to His Son. As Jesus offered up a prayer following His baptism, the Heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descended upon Him. A dove shows qualities of purity and innocence, qualities most appropriate to the Spirit's nature. What an awesome moment that was! Wow, don't you wish you could have seen that?

biiy3 - Amen OT but soon enough we will see Him in full glory!

GaL4GoD - therefore baptism is not required for salvation, just as keeping the law is not?? so, when we are baptized is for approval?

GaL4GoD - could the dove be a sort of proof thing that Jesus had such a comforter to give as he ascended?

We are saved by grace, not by works, lest any man should boast. Although there is some disagreement about that, it is my belief that water baptism is not necessary for salvation, but that it is an act of obedience that is a sign of the inward work of salvation in the believer's heart. Baptism is a witness to our salvation, and an act of obedience to the Word. What is anointing?

Abram - covering with oil... ??? dunno....

biiy3 - I believe is Chosen by God

prodigal son - It is so the Lord can say to us well done good and faithful servant

Anointing in the Old Testament was with oil, and was done for kings and priests. It was symbolic of the Holy Spirit who would direct the king or priest in obedience to God. The visible manifestation of the Holy Spirit as a dove was given in order that men might see and understand that Jesus was anointed by the Spirit. His anointing was His induction into the office of king. Just as kings in the Old Testament were anointed with oil (symbolizing the Holy Spirit) at the time of their inauguration, so Jesus was anointed by the Spirit Himself as He was inaugurated as Israel's king, fulfilling the Davidic covenant. What is the Davidic covenant? What is a covenant?

Abram - covenant is the law. ??? I dunno...LOL

Servant - a promise

prodigal son - It is a promise and a legal agreement with blessings and curses

GaL4GoD - agreement

biiy3 - a covenant is like a treaty between to people, in this case it is a promise of God

harl - A covenant is an agreement between 2 or more people. It is also a standard used to operate consisting of laws and requirements.

A covenant is an agreement between two parties, with blessings if the conditions of the covenant are followed and curses if it is not. There were several covenants in the Old Testament. In fact, "testament" means covenant. The mark of the Covenant with Abraham is circumcision. If baptism were a requirement for salvation, it would be telling us that there is a work we must do to be saved. There is NO work that can save, it is only by grace and grace alone. No works can save.

Z - YAY!!!! Thank You Jesus!! For giving us understanding of Your Word!! Write it in our hearts Lord!!!

God made a covenant with David. Listen, I'll post the verses: God speaking to King David:

2 Samuel 7:12-13; 16 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. ..Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

So the promise God made to David was that there would be a King, one of his descendants, that would reign forever. Jesus is that king, the fulfillment of that promise!

prodigal son - OT Jesus would be of the line of David?

And in the Old Testament, Kings were anointed with oil by God's prophet as a sign of their kingship, so Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to identify Him as King. The voice from heaven was a kind of coronation formula for the king:

Psalm 2:7-8 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

So the dove was the sign that Jesus was anointed for service, as king and also in his role as prophet and priest.

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli,…

Now if you'll look at the rest of chapter 3, you'll see Jesus genealogy, but

we aren't going to post it all! That would take more time than we have left! How old was Jesus when He began His ministry?

Z - 30

Right Z. Now this one's harder. Who in the Old Testament usually began their work at that age?

Z - the priests?? the ones who wet into the Holy of Holys?

biiy3 - levitical priests?

Numbers 4:23 Count all the men from thirty to fifty years of age who come to serve in the work at the Tent of Meeting.

I Chronicles 23:3 The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand.

A man was considered mature when he reached 30. The Priests or Levites began their work at age 30. Jesus' first priestly service was to cleanse the Temple.

Luke 3:23, 38 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph, the son of Heli, …. the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

I left out a lot of people on this list! Here we have a rather lengthy genealogy of Jesus. If you compare it to the list of ancestors in Matthew, you will see differences. Why is this?

biiy3 - Because it had to be proven that Jesus was a Levite and of the lineage of David … Levite through Mary and David through Joseph

The record in Matthew is the genealogy of Joseph, a descendant of David, and goes back to Abraham. Here Joseph is called the son of Jacob. The title of King passed through the male lineage. Jesus was the "legal" son of Joseph by marriage, so he has the legal right to the throne of David through the line of Solomon.

The account in Luke 3 goes back all the way to Adam. Here Joseph was called the son of Heli, his father-in-law, and Mary's father. So this is Jesus' "family tree" on his mother's side, which also traces him back to David as the physical heir to the throne through the line of Nathan.

GaL4GoD - lineage of Mary vs. lineage of Joseph

biiy3 - to fulfill the requirement of priest and KING

So Matthew is Jesus family tree through Joseph by his father Jacob, and in Luke through Joseph by his father-in-law, HELI, Mary's father. Jesus had to be in the line of King David to fulfill the prophecy about being the King forever. So they traced him back two ways, One through Joseph to King Solomon, and one through Mary to Nathan. Solomon and Nathan were both King David's sons. Why do you think that Luke gives Mary's genealogy and Matthew gives Joseph's?

Luke probably got his information from Mary. "By following Jesus biological line, Luke stresses two key facts: Jesus is truly son of Adam, fully human; and Jesus is truly Son of God, the only son of Adam who retains the image of God unmarred by the Fall." Also, Mary's genealogy traces Jesus back to Levi, the first priest, to show that He was also of the priestly line.

Prophecies in the Old Testament made it plain that the Savior was to be a descendant of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, and of the family of David. Luke interrupts his story to list Jesus ancestors showing that Jesus is of the proper family line to be the Messiah Why was it important to include Jesus' Family Tree at all? It was important to connect Jesus to the promises given His ancestors, starting with Adam up to the present day.

Z - if it didn't, then nonbelievers...pharises etc.. would be able to say that Jesus wasn't the Messiah , cuz he didn't meet the requirements of old.

GaL4GoD - to prove to those waiting his arrival, that he is the fulfillment of the coming Messiah???

Right! God predicted it, the people expected it, and Jesus fulfilled it! Also think of it as "proof" that Jesus was the one they were waiting for... He satisfied all the requirements.

Z - Mary and Joseph were the only two at the time that knew that Jesus was conceived of the Holy Spirit??

No Zechariah and Elizabeth knew, so did Simeon and Anna. John the Baptist knew. Beyond that, we don't know.

It might surprise you to learn that Jesus had some "skeletons" in his family closet! David (v.32) of course was the famous King David, who committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle. Boaz (v. 33) was the one who married Ruth, a Moabitess. The people of Moab were heathens and bitter enemies of Israel. Boaz's mother was Rahab, the prostitute of Jericho that rescued the spies and later married Salmon. Judah (Luke 3:33) the son of Jacob and leader of the tribe by that name, conspired with 9 of his brothers to sell Joseph into slavery in Egypt. He also was tricked into marrying his daughter-in-law Tamar to bring about sons for his dead sons. Judah's father Jacob deceived his father Isaac into giving him Esau's inheritance. So we have an adulterer, a murderer, a couple of deceivers, a prostitute, a pagan - get the picture?

The Bible is real. It "tells it like it is"! If your family tree has some skeletons in the closet, or if you are the "black sheep of the family", you still are a candidate for God's grace! Praise the Lord! So tonight we talked about John's message, Jesus' baptism and Jesus' Family Tree.

Z - yup!! we don't have to be perfect or come from the best families to be loved by God!! We all fall short!! But through God's grace we are saved!!!

The GOOD NEWS is repentance - God has made it available for us AT NO CHARGE - it's a gift to make us all clean! Jesus began fulfilling all the prophecies even before His birth - He met all the requirements so we can be sure that He's the REAL Messiah. And we also saw how John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecies of the forerunner for Jesus, and that Jesus was baptized and anointed to begin His ministry. Next time we're going to talk about Jesus' temptation.

Lord, we thank you for your Word. We pray that you will bring light and understanding to all who have hear your Word tonight. In Jesus Name AMEN.

OlePappy - Thank You Lord, for the wonders and blessings of Your Holy Word.

Thank You Father for those who gathered here with us tonight. Father I pray that you will guide our paths and that we will have the wisdom to follow Your light this week. Father, bless all here with health and wisdom in Jesus Name. AMEN

Remember, whenever God gives us a revelation, the devil tries to steal it from us. Guard your hearts and meditate on what you've learned!
And put it into practice!

Return to Luke Homepage

*Picture Sources:

Unger, Merrill F. The New Unger's Bible Handbook. Revised by Gary N Larson. Moody Press, Chicago, 1966: 1984.

The Family Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. by Pat Alexander.  Chancelor Press, London, 1988.

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Original Lesson 8/10/98
Revised: May 02, 2001.