Friday, December 23, 2005

Gateways to Grace (3)

Luke 3v21-4v30

Jesus is assumed to be Joseph's son (noted in Luke 3v23 and 4v22). We already know otherwise as careful readers of Luke's book. Mary was told that this would not be Joseph's son - and since she's still a virgin that would be biologically difficult too.

Luke the historian gives us detail of Joseph's entire genealogy. He tracks all the way back to the creation and to Adam's divine sonship. Even as a supposed son of Joseph Jesus has divine origins but there is more here than that. God declares Jesus as his son in 3v22.

The genealogy is followed by Jesus' temptation. Not an example to us, but a testimony of his divinity., This is God's son having his identity tested. "If you are"... and he is. Where God's son Israel fell to temptation in the wilderness, this Son is different. Satan seeks to manipulate Jesus' identity for his own ends, but fails. This is the Son of God par excellence, no-one's puppet.He withstands temptation and returns empowered by the Holy Spirit to teach the people.

At Nazareth in the Synagogue he teaches from Isaiah 61v1,2. Not some metaphorical interpretation, but "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing,". Good news for God's people! Hope of rescue! Today! Rooted in time and space God's promises are being fulfilled. But the response is not vitriolic but one of rejection. The people are enraged, they want proofs and signs but he will not supply. They seek to kill him, but he elludes them. The people love Jesus until they must accept him as not just an amazing teacher, but also the divine son. He will not bend to their whim anymore than satans. The son of God will not be anyone's puppet, he will be who he is on his own terms. Luke shows us this. Will we listen.

David Gibson on this passage at

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