The Gospel according to Luke, chapter 4

To: God’s family, His church (12/3/18) Kislev 24th day, 5779, until sunset.

Dr Luke’s account now jumps forward to Zachariah’s miracle son, “John” called “John the Baptist.” (Luke 3:1-3; “In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch, over the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, while Lysanias was 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. He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”) (A Tetrarch was a joint ruler, Herod, Philip and Lysanias were three of four subordinates.) (Repentance means, “a turning from.” Baptism means, “an emersion in.” (God’s CALLING is when a person’s sin nature is revealed, their erroneous practices exposed and God gives them a desire to turn.) Baptism should be an outward agreement with God, whereby a person promises to immerse themselves in the Way of God the Father and God the Son. A person can’t turn to without turning from!

(Luke 3:4-6; “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth, and all humanity will see the salvation of God.’”) Luke is quoting from Isaiah 40:3-5. All the gospel accounts use this citation from Isaiah, only Luke cites the material of verses. 5-6. His goal may well be to get to the declaration of v. 6, where all humanity (i.e., all nations) will see God’s salvation (See also Luke 24:47). Jesus’ return with power and John’s assignment, was revealed to Isaiah by Jesus. (Isaiah’s prophecy is also for Jesus’ millennial rule,)

(Isaiah 40:1-11; “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem, and tell her that her time of warfare is over, that her punishment is completed. For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.” (3) A voice cries out, “In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord; construct in the desert a road for our God. Every valley must be elevated, and every mountain and hill leveled. The rough terrain will become a level plain, the rugged landscape a wide valley. The splendor of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it at the same time. For the Lord has decreed it.” (6) A voice says, “Cry out!” Another asks, “What should I cry out?” The first voice responds: “All people are like grass, and all their promises are like the flowers in the field. The grass dries up, the flowers wither, when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them. Surely humanity is like grass. The grass dries up, the flowers wither, but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” (9) Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion! Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! Shout, don’t be afraid! Say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” (10) Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; His military power establishes His rule. Look, His reward is with Him; His prize goes before Him. (11) Like a shepherd He tends His flock; He gathers up the lambs with His arm; He carries them close to His heart; He leads the ewes along.”) This is Jesus’ good news, “gospel” through Isaiah! One of many Jesus’ apostles were expecting Him to fulfill when they were first being called.

 

(Luke 3:7-9; “So John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”) All have inherited a, “self importance nature” from Adam. A rebellious outlook that thinks it okay to decide for one’s self, “what is right, wrong, good and evil.” Through John, Jesus puts things in perspective. We each are as grass! The idea is to, “turn to Jesus and from the world.”

 

(Luke 3:10-17; “So the crowds were asking John, “What then should we do?” John answered them, “The person who has two tunics must share with the person who has none, and the person who has food must do likewise.” (12) Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to John, “Teacher, what should we do?” He told them, “Collect no more than you are required to.” Then some soldiers also asked him, “And as for us – what should we do?” He told them, “Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay.” (15) While the people were filled with anticipation and they all wondered whether perhaps John could be the Christ, (16) John answered them all, “I baptize you with water, but One more powerful than I am is coming – I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you, “immerse you” with the Holy Spirit and fire. (17) His winnowing fork is in His hand to clean out His threshing floor and to gather the wheat into His storehouse, but the chaff He will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”) (See Job 20:26 & Isaiah 34:8-10, & 66:24.) Chaff is a metaphor for unbelieving people. Jesus’ Words, (“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” Matt 22:37-40) The threshing floor represents the world. Jesus gave parables that fits John’s words.

(Matt 13:24-30; “The kingdom of heaven is like a person who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, an enemy “Satan” came and sowed weeds among the wheat “Christians” and went away. (Satan plants enemies among God’s people to divide and confuse.) When the plants “Christians” sprouted and bore grain “fruit“ then the weeds (“those presenting themselves as angels of light”) also appeared. So the slaves of the owner came and said to Him, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’ He said, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the slaves replied, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’ But He “Jesus” said, ‘No, since in gathering the weeds “unbelievers” you may uproot the wheat “Christians” with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I “Jesus” will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds “Unbelievers” and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then gather the wheat “My people” into My barn.”’”)

(Matt 19:16-30; “Now someone came up to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” He said to him, “Why do you ask Me about what is good? There is only One who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” Then Peter said to Him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”) The twelve tribes of Israel are yet going to be delivered to the borders Jesus promised Abraham, “Jesus’ 12 apostles already have part of their assignment.

 

(Luke 3:18-20; “And in this way, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed good news to the people. But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil deeds that he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked up John in prison.”) John’s message is to all Believers IN, but his audience back then was primarily Israelites of the tribe of Judah, “Pharisees/Sadducees” that were ruled from Rome. The Romans had long since adapted pagan practices and beliefs in gods of the imagination.

 

(Luke 3:21-22; “Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus also was baptized. (See Matthew 3:6-17, Mark 1:5-12) And while Jesus was praying, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are My One dear Son; in You I take great delight.”) God’s Spirit resided in Jesus from conception, this measure is given visibly as a witness to the people. When the people received the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, it was visible as a witness. Unless to witness, God doesn’t make the Holy Spirit visible. Jesus explained to Nicodemus, when He was celebrating the Last Great Day of the Feast of Tabernacles. (John 3:8; “The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”)

 

Jesus was about thirty years old when He began teaching. Mary’s husband, Joseph was the primary supporter of the family. Joseph and Mary’s heredity from the fathers go back to Adam, his son Seth, after the flood, Noah and his son Shem. Most notably in the heredity line is David. Study the list, beginning in verse 23-38. Satan knew the plan regarding Jesus’ birth; he set out to counterfeit: duplicate every aspect, causing the many to worship him. Mother and son worship go back long before Jesus’ birth. Satan inspired counterfeit religions, copying resemblances of God’s plan, so humans would look to and worship him as an angel of light. (See 2 Corinthians 11:14) This apostasy is exposed by our Lord’s brother “Jude” and in the book of Judges.

 

(Judges 2:11-14; “The Israelites did evil before the Lord by worshiping the Baals. They abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They followed other gods – the gods of the nations who lived around them. They worshiped them and made the Lord angry. They abandoned the Lord and worshiped Baal and the Ashtars.”) (Ashtaroth was also called “the queen of heaven.” When Jeremiah witnessed to them, they said to him; “We will not listen to what you claim the Lord has spoken to us! Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the “Queen of Heaven” just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles.” Jeremiah 44:16-17)

Paul contended with these pagans in Greece, understanding, “if the people turned to Jesus, it would interrupt their business.” They said; (There’s danger not only that this business of ours will come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be regarded as nothing, and she whom all the province of Asia and the world worship will suffer the loss of her greatness.” When the people heard this they became enraged and began to shout, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”” Acts 19:27-28) Nothing has changed! When people today here and see God’s truth, they think, “to follow this our business will suffer, the whole world is worshiping traditionalism.

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