Read the Bible passage online here. Alternatively, you could even look it up in a Bible!
We’re up to Day 18 and we’ve hit a list! The good news is that it’s the only genealogical list in Luke and there are only two in the New Testament. If you skimmed through it, don’t feel guilty, I think most people do. Most of the names listed here are found nowhere else in the Bible so we know nothing about them. If you were to compare the names listed here with the other family line of Jesus listed in Matthew 1 (don’t forget your anorak), you will see that they are quite different. There are a number of possible explanations for this, it could be because Matthew traces Joseph’s line whilst Luke traces the line of Mary (hence the line; “He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph”). Others believe that Matthew traces Jesus’ legal line whereas Luke is tracing actual line of descent. This would be the case if there was a levirate marriage in the family line. I would be happy to elaborate if required and please use the comments option for any questions.
When we began our journey through Luke’s gospel, we read that Luke intended his account to be orderly (1:3). This means that Luke did not strive to place events in the order that they occurred, it isn’t necessarily chronological like a diary, but he did place things together so that we may know the certainty of the things we have been taught (1:4). Matthew places the genealogy of Jesus right at the beginning of his gospel, which seems to make sense, particularly from a first century point of view where a person’s roots told you a great deal about them. By contrast, Luke places the genealogy just after his account of the baptism, not because he forgot to include it earlier, but because he is making a point. Jesus the eternal Word, the Son of God, identified himself with us.
Why was Jesus baptised? He had no sins to be forgiven, he had no need to repent, and yet he chose to be baptised. It’s clear from Matthew’s account that John was uncomfortable with the idea “But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptised by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14) Jesus was standing with sinful human beings, in his willingness to be baptised (that’s a pretty good reason for us to be baptised, to identify with Jesus just as he has with us) and in becoming part of a human family with a history and lots of baggage. It’s all leading to the cross where he will stand in our place and take our punishment so that we can be made right with him. In a wonderful way, the three persons of the trinity are working in a beautiful harmony, the word of the Father, the witness of the Spirit and the willingness of the Son, to bring about this great rescue mission, God and sinners reconciled.
Thank you Lord for your great plan of salvation, we pray that we would live in the light of all you have done for us so that others will know the hope we have in Christ.