Saturday, July 19, 2014


Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli...the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.  (Luke 3:23,38) 
Luke, the meticulous historian, in the third chapter of his Gospel, begins with a list of political leaders to set the historical context of the ministry of John the Baptist as the herald of King Jesus.  Then, he concludes that chapter with another list of names to set the genealogical context for the mission of the Messiah.  Reading such a catalog of names—several of which are virtually unknown and even unpronounceable with any certainty—challenges us to skip over those portions of the text.  That would be a mistake.  There is a lesson to LEARN!
The royal lineage was what qualified someone to be a king.  Jesus’ heritage establishes His legal right to the throne of David.  But further, it extends back to Adam, so that He was fully man, but then to God—so He was fully God.  God set Adam in the Garden and gave him dominion, but in disobedience that was forfeited.  Now, Jesus comes as the Last Adam that by His obedience all that the First Adam lost may be restored.  In the next event, Jesus will march right out into the wilderness and do battle with Satan.  When Satan questioned the Word of God, Adam and Eve were deceived and disobedient.  But when Satan questions Jesus, Christ will rely on the Word of God and overcome the wicked one.
The genealogies found in Matthew and Luke differ at certain points.  There are at least a couple of good explanations.  I think the best is that Matthew’s is Joseph’s biological line and establishes Christ’s legal right to reign through His adoptive father, and Luke gives us the biological connection through Mary.  The fact that she isn’t mentioned and only Joseph would again be a legal matter, making her marriage to Joseph meeting the requirement for Christ to be King—and yet the blood of royalty literally ran through Christ’s veins, imparted by His mother.  Matthew’s genealogy starts with Abraham and goes through David to Jesus.  This suited Matthew’s purpose to present Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews—the Son of David and Son of Abraham.  Matthew writes as a Jew to the Jews.  Luke, on the other hand, begins with Jesus and winds his way back through family history to Adam and his creation by God.  Luke is a Gentile addressing a Gentile audience.  His intent is to present Jesus as the Son of Man and Savior of the world.  The missionary heart of Luke’s mentor, Paul, always bleeds through his writing.
Jesus is the only One qualified to be our Mediator.  He is both one of us and Other than us—Son of God and son of Adam—that He might bring men to God.  Understanding who Jesus is should lead us to cry out to Him as Savior and bow before Him as Lord.  That is essential for getting ready to meet God.
Are you prepared to meet God?  If not, then you need to come to Christ without delay!  You may be connected with the church, but have you truly repented of your sins?  Is there fruit?  If not then the ax of judgment will fall!
If you have repented of your sins, have you publicly acknowledged that in baptism?  Following Christ into the water is a necessary first step in following Him for a lifetime.
As John prepared the way for Christ’s first coming, so we are to prepare people for His second.  Are you being God’s voice in the world?  Do you fear and back down?  Let us pray for the boldness of that herald of the King, John the Baptist.  Let us summon the lowliest of society to know they can be forgiven and be washed and made children of the King.  May we not hesitate to confront the highest in authority and call them sinners in need of repentance though such courageous conviction costs us dearly.  It would cost John everything.

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