Luke Reading (#7)
Take a few minutes to catch up and pray that God would bless you through the reading of His word.
Read Luke 3:1-22
[3:1] In 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,  during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness.  And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  As 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,
make his paths straight.
 Every 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,
 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
 He 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?  Bear 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.  Even 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.”
 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?”  And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”  Soldiers 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.”
 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ,  John 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 fire.  His 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.”
 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people.  But 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,  added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison.
 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened,  and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
- What came to John (v. 2)?
- Where was he when that happened?
- What did he proclaim as a result (v. 3)?
- How did John speak to the crowds that came out to see him? What did he tell them to do (v. 7-8)
- Why might they have believed that they were OK with God (v.8)?
- How did John speak to their confidence (v. 8-9)?
- What was the effect of John’s message on the crowds (v. 10, 12, 14)?
- What kinds of people were present in the crowd?
- How did John instruct them (v. 11-14)?
- Who did the crowd suspect that John might be (v. 15)? How did John respond (v. 16-17)? What kind of picture does John give of the one who is coming?
- How did Herod respond to John’s preaching (v. 19-20)?
- What happened when Jesus was baptized (v. 21-22)?
- Read through the genealogy in v. 23-38. Are there any names that are familiar to you? How far back does Luke trace Jesus’ ancestry?
- How is John’s ministry a fulfillment of the prophecy from Isaiah that Luke mentions in v. 4-6?
- Why would it be surprising that tax collectors and soldiers were among those listening to John?
- Who is the mightier one who is coming (v. 16)? How do you know?
- What is the meaning of the imagery in v. 16-17?
- How is John’s message “good news” (v. 18)?
- If John’s baptism was a sign of repentance, why might Jesus (who had no sins to repent of) have come to be baptized?
- How might it be a way of Jesus showing that he is “one of us”?
- How does that fit with the genealogy that follows in v. 23-38?
- Why might the account of Jesus’ baptism be significant for our understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity?
- In what way might you be tempted to place confidence in your spiritual pedigree or heritage (like the crowds in v. 8)? How can you live in light of John’s warning in v. 9?
- In v. 10-14, John seems to tailor a repentance plan for each kind of person. What might be his prescription for you?
- It seems like Luke places Jesus’ genealogy between his baptism and his temptation (ch. 4) in order to emphasize his humanity and his identification with sinners.
- How does that help encourage you as you think about repentance in your own life?
- How does that encourage you to go to Jesus with your sin and weakness?
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