Big Hill Bible Studies
14 March 2018
Luke tells us that Jesus was 30 years old when He began His public ministry (3:23). We also see He was baptized by John the Baptist just prior to His temptation by Satan and the gathering of His Disciples. This would indicate that a period of 17-18 years have gone by since Jesus' visit with the teachers in the temple as a 12 year old boy.
In Luke's gospel he records Gabriel's visit with Mary prior to Jesus' birth. He told her that her relative Elizabeth, in her old age, was 6 months pregnant. The child Elizabeth and Zachariah were to have was John the Baptist. He was to be the forerunner to Christ. Since the passage called Elizabeth Mary's relative, many believe John and Jesus were cousins. This is another amazing thing about the life of Jesus - the mission of John the Baptist.
The purpose of John's miraculous birth was to announce the coming of the Messiah, a prophetic message that had broken a 400 year silence by the prophets. In the gospel of John we read (1:6-8), "There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light."
Luke records for us in chapter 3 how John preached the message of repentance and preparation for the coming Messiah. This fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah as we read, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Make ready for the way of the Lord. . ." Mark's gospel gives us a description of John, and in Matthew's record of Jesus' baptism John is said to have objected to Jesus' request because he felt the need to be baptized by Christ himself. But Jesus' response led to John baptizing Jesus and then we see yet another amazing thing. As Jesus came up out of the water the Holy Spirit descended as a dove from the heavens and rested on Jesus. Then the voice of God is heard, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Here we have a rare appearance of the Trinity at one time - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. What a beginning to His ministry! From this point, Luke records Jesus as being 30 years old. He leaves John at the Jordan and the next recorded event we see is Satan's attempt to tempt Him in the wilderness. We'll get into that tomorrow.
As we read about John, the baptizer and the forerunner, do we see his amazing obedience and passion? There was no doubt his life's mission was to tell people the Messiah was coming and they were to repent and prepare themselves for Him. Do you see any similar message we are to proclaim? John's mission was prepared for him before he was born - so was ours.