There are two big things in today's reading of Luke 3:20-37:
- Jesus' baptism
- Jesus' genealogy
Jesus was baptized. The Holy Spirit descended on Him. God spoke to him and over Him. This is a pretty significant passage. It is one of the times where God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and God the Son are all mentioned together.
I had the joy of watching several students at my church, including my son, get baptized this past Sunday. Baptism is an outward confession of inward grace. It is telling the world publicly that you have begun a new life in Christ.
Does baptism save you from your sins? No. Believing that Jesus died for your sins and accepting that gift of forgiveness is what saves you from your sin. Baptism is the public confession of your faith and an act of obedience.
Does baptism caused you to be filled with the Holy Spirit? No. Once you accept Christ as your Savior, the Holy Spirit lives within you. He becomes the person who prays on your behalf when you cannot find the words to do so. He is God living with us, helping us to discover God's will for our lives. He is God's mighty hands holding us and healing us from the hurts the world inflicts on us.
Why is Jesus' genealogy listed? Why is this important? In Bible times, especially for the Jews, the lineage is extremely important. The further you can trace it back, the better.
Most of the names in the genealogy are not names that most people would know, but it is believed to be an accurate account of his genealogy. Something that is kind of cool about it is that the number of generations between God and Jesus is 77. 77. That's a super-perfect number. It's symbolic of the forgiveness of all sins. How amazing is that?
Still, we have to observe that this a legal genealogy because Jesus is really God's son, not Joseph's. Bet that threw you for a loop there, didn't it? Jesus is the Son of God. He was sent to completely save us from our sins and restore us to a perfect relationship with God.
Reading this passage and thinking about it for some time makes it more treasured to me. Do you see that Joseph's ancestry traces all the way back to Noah and then all the way back to Adam? Do you see that? For me it's confirming the stories of Creation. God made men. We are descendants of God's creation. We are God's creation. That still boggles my mind. Imagine that. The one who created the universe and everything in it also created me. He knows my name. He loves me. Enough to send his son to die for me. That's just amazing and completely mind-blowing to me!