FOR AUDIO VERSION CLICK HERE.Chapter 3 of Luke begins with In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. John went throughout the country around Jordan and preached his message--the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, right out of Isaiah.
Remember, John is to be the great introducer of God's Messiah, Jesus. The people were quite impressed with John: The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one who is 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 fire.
Interesting comparison John makes. John baptizes people with water, but the Messiah will baptize people with the Spirit and fire. John's is an external sign, but the Messiah will bring spiritual transformation of the heart. The text goes on with: And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.
Now we come to a brief mention of Jesus' baptism and the genealogy of Jesus: 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."
The important focus of the genealogy is to prove that Jesus was in the godly line of the seed of David. Seventeen verses in the New Testament describe Jesus as the "son of David." What does this mean? How could Jesus be the son of David if David lived approximately 1000 years before Jesus? The answer is that Christ was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the seed of David (2 Samuel 7:14-16). Jesus was the promised Messiah, which was of the seed of David. Matthew 1 gives the genealogical proof that Jesus was a direct descendant of Abraham and David through Joseph, Jesus' legal father. The genealogy in Luke chapter 3 seems to give Jesus' lineage through His mother, Mary. Jesus is a descendant of David, by adoption through Joseph, and by blood through Mary. So, when Christ was referred to as the Son of David, it was meant to refer to His Messianic title as the Old Testament prophesied concerning Him.
Who is Joseph's father? In Matthew 1:16 it says, "And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Yeshua, who is called Messiah." However, Luke 3:23 says, "Yeshua himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli." Following through the genealogies, note that there are some names which are common to both, but also, a great number of differences. Matthew begins at Abraham, and works his way to Yeshua the Messiah. Luke begins at Yeshua, and works his way back to Adam. There are two genealogies, with two distinct purposes. Matthew, it appears reveals the genealogy of Joseph, and Luke, presents the genealogy of Mary. I see the genealogies of Matthew and Luke like listing out the two family trees of Jesus. The two trees don't match up. Some of the people correspond to each other, but many of them don't. However, both of them give proof to the fact that Jesus, God's Messiah, was of the godly lineage of David.
The Messiah was to come through the lineage of David. This is why these boring genealogies are so important. What blows my mind is that the last time any person could be confirmed as the Messiah was before 70 A.D. That was the year that the Romans destroyed the Temple and all of the genealogical records.
This is a good lesson for us. Jesus came on time the first time and He will be on time when He returns. You can also count on Him to be on time in your life. He will act on your behalf in His way and in His time. You can count on it.