Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part IX: Clarifying How John The Baptizer's Ministry Prepared For Jesus As The World's Savior
(Luke 3:1-22)
  1. Introduction
    1. John the Baptizer's ministry to Israel that was separate from and prior to Jesus' ministry clarified how He would be the world's Savior, and, in Luke's Gospel, this truth was incorporated in John's ministry.
    2. We thus view John's ministry for his added confirmation that Jesus was expected to the be world's Savior.
  2. Clarifying How John The Baptizer's Ministry Prepared For Jesus As The World's Savior, Lk. 3:1-22.
    1. Luke introduced the ministry of John the Baptizer with a focus on the world's peoples, Luke 3:1-2:
      1. Luke emphasized Gentile dating to show John's ministry was important for Gentiles: John began his ministry in the fifteenth year of the Rome's Tiberius Caesar, or in A. D. 29, Luke 3:1a; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 210. Luke mentioned other Gentile leaders of the region, referring to Pontius Pilate as governing Judaea, Herod Antipas who ruled Galilee, his brother Philip who ruled Ituraea east of the Jordan and Lysanias who ruled Abilene, northwest of Damascus, Luke 3:1b,c,d,e; Ibid. This emphasis on Gentile rulers reveals Luke was giving Gentiles an historical orientation to John's ministry! (Ibid.)
      2. Luke also emphasized Jewish dating to show John's ministry applied to Jews: in Luke 3:2, Luke noted that the spiritual heads of Israel were both Annas and Caiaphas. We know from history that though the Roman authorities had replaced Annas with Caiaphas, Annas still wielded great power, Ibid.
      3. So, the way he noted the time when John's ministry began, Luke implied it was for Jews and Gentiles.
    2. John's ministry included preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, a ministry that was couched in man's need to prepare for the coming of the world's Messiah, Luke 3:3-18:
      1. The preaching of John called men to be baptized, repenting of their sins for the remission of sins, 3:3.
      2. That call was directed to prepare people for the arrival of a King, the Messiah, Luke 3:4-6:
        1. John's use of Isaiah 40:3-4 in Luke 3:4-5 to call men to prepare a way in the desert implies preparing for a king's arrival as workmen went before a king in the desert to clear debris for him, Ibid., p. 211.
        2. John's prediction that "all flesh" would see the salvation of God foretold of a world salvation by this coming King of Israel, cf. Luke 3:6!
      3. John's call to repent and his warning of judgment in Luke 3:7-18 applied to all men: (a) John warned the Jews in his audience to avoid trusting in their religious ancestry for salvation, but to get right with God in their hearts, Lk. 3:7-9. This revealed a salvation not based on one's Jewish lineage, but on an individual relationship with God! (b) John told the people of Israel to share their material goods with the needy (Luke 3:10-11); (b) he told the publicans known for abusive tax collections from Jews for the Romans to exact no more than the law required (Luke 3:12-13) and, (c) unique to Luke's Gospel, even Gentile Roman soldiers were told to stop mistreating and extorting money (Luke 3:14).
      4. While thus everyone, Jew or Gentile, expected this Messiah, John taught he was not the One, but that He would come as the sinless One unlike John, and baptize them with the Holy Spirit, predicting the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the Church era for Jew and Gentile, Luke 3:15-17 with Acts 2, 8, 10.
    3. [Luke added that John's ministry was terminated by Herod Antipas's imprisoning John for reproving him as a Gentile for many sins, including his marriage to Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, Luke 3:19-20.]
    4. Thus, when Jesus was baptized by John, God revealed to Jews and Gentiles He was God's Son, 3:21-22:
      1. Luke reported that when Jesus came to be baptized by John, He was praying when the heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit in the bodily shape of a dove descended upon him while a voice from God in heaven announced, "Thou are my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased." (Luke 3:21b-22)
      2. Since this event occurred publicly in the presence of all, Jews and Gentiles, it was known to all that according to the God of heaven, Creator of Jews and Gentiles, that Jesus was their Savior! (3:21a)
Lesson: John's ministry as presented in Luke's Gospel reveals that, independent of and prior to the ministry of Jesus, John was presenting the Savior of the world for both Jews and Gentiles.

Application: May we realize that the last Old Testament prophet, John the Baptizer, independent of and prior to Jesus, presented Him as the Savior of the WORLD, and thus TRUST and HEED Him as such!