Brit Chadasha Foundations-Concepts in Luke-Chapter 3

Luke 3.1-38 contains an account of the preaching of Yochanon Ha Matvil (John the Immerser) and a genealogy of Yeshua from his mother’s side (the seed of the woman-Gen 3.15).

v 1…Now in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (the “third” Caesar after Julius and Augustus; about 25-26 AD possibly if you date from his appointment as co-regent in 11 AD), when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea (the fifth one; before him was Coponius, Marcus Ambivius, Annins Rufus and Valerius Gratus), and Herod (Antipas, the son of Herod the Great) was Tetrarch (a rank lower than a king) of Galilee, and his brother Philip was Tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis (north and east of the sea of Galilee), and Lysanias was Tetrarch of Abilene (not a son of Herod and ruled the area of Syria, west of Damascus),

v 2…in the high priesthood of Annas (the former high priest and “sagan” or deputy) and Caiaphas (the actual high priest and son-in-law of Annas), the word of God came to John (inspiring him to preach, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness (of Judea, north of the Dead Sea and around the mouth of the Jordan River).

v 3…And he came into all the district around the Jordan (sometimes around Bethabara or Aenon near Salim) preaching an immersion (tevilah) of repentance (“teshuvah” or to return to God) for the forgiveness of sins (as a type of Elijah, the friend of the bridegroom-Mal 4.5; John 3.29),

v 4…as it is written (already on record) in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness (called the “herald” in Jewish eschatology-see the Complete Artscroll Machzor for Sukkot, Hoshanot for Hoshana Rabbah, Mesorah Publications, p.803-805; of Isa 40.3 to Isa 66.24 is the message of the voice), make ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight (as defined in the Torah, the ethical paths found there).

v 5…Every ravine shall be filled up (the metaphor here is drawn from the practice of going before a king or an important person to clear the road of obstacles and make it level; in spiritual thought, this relates to repentance and walking straight according to the Torah, as opposed to walking in crooked ways or in opposition of the Torah; the ravine or valley symbolize the lowly and depressed people who will be raised up), and every mountain and hill shall be brought low (the haughty and the proud will be humbled); and the crooked (teachings) shall become straight (through correct doctrine), and the rough roads smooth;

v 6…and all flesh (nations, people) shall see the salvation (Hebrew “yeshua”) of God (a term for the Messiah and his purposes and provision for sin).”

v 7…He therefore saying to the multitudes (which included priests, Sadducees, Pharisees-Matt 3.7) who were going out (into the wilderness to hear him John 1.6, 30-32) to be immersed by him, “You brood of vipers (family of snakes, similar to what Yeshua said in John 8.44, “You are of your father the devil”; sly and deceptive; a term frequently used in Rabbinic literature), who warned you to flee from the wrath to come (the fire of God’s wrath; and a snake will come out of the wood when it is on fire).

v 8…Therefore bring forth fruits (actions, doctrines) in keeping with your repentance (in line with the Torah, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’ for I say to you that God is able from these stones (what stones? We know Joshua had placed 12 stones in the Jordan where they crossed to symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel in Josh 4.1-9. It is possible that John is at that very place in this passage) to raise up children to Abraham (based on Ezek 33.23-24).

v 9…And also the axe (the Romans) is already laid at the root of the trees (people of Israel); every tree (person) therefore that does not bear good fruit (in line with the Torah) is cut down and thrown into the fire (the Roman’s were God’s axe and this will literally come true in 70 AD).”

v 10…And the multitudes were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do (to escape God’s wrath and judgment)?”

v 11…And he would answer (every time this came up) and say to them, “Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none (self-denial); and let him who has food do likewise (bear the burdens of others, practice justice and mercy, etc).”

v 12…And tax-gatherers (hated by the people because they worked for Rome) also came to be immersed, and they said to him, “Teacher (rabbi), what shall we do (to present fruits of our repentance)?”

v 13…And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to (by the governor; be honest and don’t steal or extort; notice he never tells them to stop working for a pagan government).”

v 14…And soldiers (probably Jews in the armed forces, etc) were questioning him, saying, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages (what is allowed you; mutinies for higher pay has happened before; notice again he does not tell them to stop serving in the military).”

v 15…Now while the people were in a state of expectation (for the coming of the Messiah; they knew Daniel’s prophecies in Chapters 7 and 8 and the fourth kingdom was here, but the kingdom of God was not-Dan 7.17-18) and all were wondering in their hearts (thoughts) about John as to whether he might be the Messiah (but he was from Levi, not Judah, and not a descendant of David; they were not considering this-Luke 1.65-66).

v 16…John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I immerse you with water (a common practice going back thousands of years; a change of status in preparation for the coming of the Messiah; in the spirit of Elijah); but he who is mightier than I is coming (the servant of God, Messiah), and I am not fit to untie the thong of his sandals; he himself will immerse you in the Ruach Ha Kodesh (power of regeneration) and fire (to purge the unrighteous chaff).

v 17…And his winnowing fork is in his hands to clean out his threshing floor (Yeshua will “stir” up the people and separate the wheat from the chaff-Luke 12.49-53), and to gather the wheat into his barn (the kingdom of God); but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire (alluding to the Lake of Fire).”

v 18…So with many other exhortations also he preached (proclaimed) the basar (gospel) to the people.

v 19…But when Herod the tetrarch was reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and on account of all the wicked things which Herod had done (she was not only his sister-in-law but his niece),

v 20…he added this also to them all, that he locked John up in prison (at a later date).

v 21…Now it came about when all the people were immersed, that Yeshua also was immersed, and while he was praying, heaven opened up (see the notes on Matt 3.16; Mark 1.10; see our teaching called “The Veil of the Temple Was Torn” Part 1 and 2 on this website for more information on the concept),

v 22…and the Ruach Ha Kodesh descended upon him like a dove (it doesn’t say it was a dove- the “new creation” is being alluded to here-Gen 1.2), and a voice came out of heaven, “Thou art my beloved son, in thee I am well pleased (or “it was good” as in Gen 1.1-5).”

v 23…And when he began his ministry, Yeshua himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly (referring to the fact Yeshua was not Joseph’s son by the flesh) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli (this genealogy differs from Matthew’s because this is Miriam’s descendants, and Yeshua is the promised seed of the woman in Gen 3.15 and the law of inheritance decided on in Num 27.1-11 where the Torah permitted inheritance through the mother; this also goes around the curse on Coniah’s seed in Jer 22.30; Miriam is a daughter of David through Nathan, not Solomon; you will notice that the names listed here are priestly names and that makes sense because Miriam was Elizabeth’s cousin, who was a daughter of Aaron-Luke 1.5, 36),

v 24…the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,

v 25…the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Hesli, the son of Naggai,

v 26…the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda,

v 27…the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,

v 28…the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,

v 29…the son of Joshua (Yeshua), the son of Eliezar, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi

v 30…the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,

v 31…the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan (this is how Yeshua can be king through the laws of inheritance through the mother, established in Num 26.33, 27.1-11; Nathan was the third son of David and Bathsheba-2 Sam 5.14; 1 Chr 3.5, 14.3-4; Yeshua can’t be king through Joseph’s kingly line through Solomon because of Jer 22.11-30), the son of David,

v 32…the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nachshon,

v 33…the son of Amminadab, the son Admin, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,

v 34…the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,

v 35…the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Heber, the son of Shelah,

v 36…the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

v 37…the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,

v 38…the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God (the first man, the ruler of the kingdom of God on earth, a king; the term “son of God” has several applications; the kings were called “sons of God” and a title for a king in 1 Chr 28.5-6; angels are called the sons of God in Job 1.6, and believers are called sons of God in John 1.12; Rom 8.14,16; Gal 3.26).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, The Festivals of the Lord, The Temple, Tying into the New Testament

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