Skip to main content

#2 The Son is here (Luke 3:21-4:22)

In our first discussion we saw how God will bring forgiveness of sins through one who is born in Bethlehem (chapter 2), who grows up to be pointed to by Zechariah’s son John the Baptist. We rejoin the action at Jesus’ baptism by John.

The theme running through this passage is the question of Jesus identity. Luke records evidence that identifies Jesus as the Son of God. Luke cites the evidence of the Father’s testimony at Jesus’ baptism which echoes what’s said in Psalm 2:7 and Isaiah 42:1-2 expressing the Father’s delight in his Son. Bert de Clos rejoiced over his son Chad when he beat Michael Phelps in the Olympic swimming (video: Youtube saying: ““Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Look at him, he’s beautiful, I love you!”

Jesus is being identified - and its happening at baptism. Everyone is trying to get clean and he comes to be numbered with the transgressors. His baptism tells us that he will die and rise in our place - inviting us to trust him as he takes our place.

So too the Father sings over his son Jesus. The genealogy links Jesus as a Son to the story of Israel and to Adam the Son of God. Adam (with Eve, in Gen 3:1-6) was tested and failed. Israel were God’s son (Ex 4:22-23) were carried by God but didn’t trust him (Deut 1:30-33). Israel was tested for 40 years, and now Jesus is tested for 40 days – and the issue is “if you’re the Son of God.” For more on Jesus’ temptation read this paper by David Gibson Three sons and the devil

Jesus can be our example in the face of temptation but before that there is good news that he has passed the test we fail. Unlike Adam, unlike Israel he is the righteous Son.Jesus is the beginning of a new humanity – no longer doomed to sin and failure. Everything that was lost in Adam can be regained in Christ. In the Olympics we felt that we won, even though we didn’t compete. Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis weren’t just examples to us they were our champions. They won the race that we didn’t even attempt to qualify for. So too, Jesus is our champion, our “head”.

For a moment we felt ourselves joined to our champions in Sport, crying out “We are Mo”. He was one of us and our champion. Similarly, our cry in life is either going to be “We are Adam” – fallen, failed, unforgiven… or as we respond to the gospel: “We are Christ” – raised up, alive, forgiven. One of these sons of God will be our champion, but which one? As those who live in him, we can trust the word to help us repent and believe in the Son again. At Nazareth Jesus says he fulfils what Isaiah prophesies. He’s the Spirit-anointed Son who has come to bring good news to the world. We call Jesus the Christ which is the Greek word for Anointed one. A title used of Kings.

This king will care for his people. He’ll bring forgiveness for the last and the least, the lost and the little, while the good and the great are going to struggle to believe in him, grumbling and trying to catch him out. Jesus is the starting point with God, he’s the evidence, and when we see him we see one whose Father loves him, wouldn’t it be great if we could know Jesus’ Father in the same way? Luke shows us that when God shows up, he does so in person. Jesus is the Son who fulfils all that was expected from the Old Testament. Will people trust him? Or will he be dismissed as Joseph’s son?


Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use ( tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue

2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin

3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong

4. Cornerstone - Hillsong

Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…