Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: Luke 3
Passage: Luke 3:1-6
A. Find Out:
1. How many historical characters are mentioned by Luke? v.1,2
2. What happened then? v.2
3. Where did he go and what did he do? v.3
4. How did Luke see this? v.4a
5. So what did he see John doing/ v.4
6. With what outcome? v.6
1. How does Luke seek to show us the Gospel is based in history?
2. How does that also include prophetic history?
3. How would John be preparing the way for Jesus?
For anyone who thinks the Gospel is just a bunch of bright ideas dreamt up by someone, these verses come as an antidote! Luke wants us to be quite clear that what he is writing about took place in time-space history. He gives is names of historical people and geographical places. Into this time and this place, he says, came John the Baptist.
Why? Because God's word came to John and his response was to go into the Jordan area and preach and baptise. His preaching was for a clear and set purpose: to bring people to repentance.
Why did he do this? Well we've already said that it was because God spoke to him, but it was also because this was the working out of God's plan spoken about through the prophet Isaiah centuries before. Every now and then in the Old Testament period, it seems, was a man who clearly heard God, not only for his own time but also for the future. Luke understands this; he realises that God had spoken about what had recently happened, centuries before.
So what was John doing? Preparing the way for Jesus. How was he doing it? We'll see in the next studies. Basically though, he was touching the hearts of men and women to make them more receptive to God so that when Jesus came, they were open to receive him.
1. A Factual Gospel
2. A Prophetic Gospel
3. Receptive heart?
Chapter: Luke 3
Passage: Luke 3:7-14
A. Find Out:
1. How did John address the crowds and what did he ask them? v.7
2. What did he tell them to do? v.8a
3. Why did he imply they should not do? v.8b
4. What did he say was just about to happen? v.9
5. What response did he get? v.10
6. What instructions did he give to what 3 groups? v.11-14
1. What do you think the fruit was that John referred to?
2. What was Israel 's danger?
3. How would you summarise his instructions to the people?
Luke moves on to show us what it was that John was actually preaching. In this he is the most complete of the Gospels. He starts out with a general instruction: let your repentance have a practical outworking. Repentance means acknowledging your shortcomings and determining, with God's help, to go the opposite way to that which you have been going, but this isn't just a fine idea, it is to be practically expressed.
Israel were relying on their name and their past history and assumed they were all right because of that. Wrong, says John. God wants faith people (children of Abraham), people relating to Him and if you won't be that, He can raise up a new people, even from these stones if necessary!
This produces a cry of “What should we do then”, which is always a good response to preaching. He starts with a general instruction that could apply to any of them: share with the needy, show you are God's merciful and compassionate children. To the tax collectors he instructs not to take more than they should, i.e. be honest! Then to the soldiers, don't use your position of power wrongly. Don't take advantage of your position to do down others. In other words, in each case, let you heart attitude towards God be seen in the way you relate to other people. Righteousness is practical.
1. Repentance First
2. Don't trust in a name
3. Practical Outworkings
Chapter: Luke 3
Passage: Luke 3:15-20
A. Find Out:
1. What were the people wondering? v.15
2. How did John refer to Jesus? v.16b
3. What did he say Jesus would do? v.16c
4. What further did he say Jesus will do? v.17
5. What did John do about Herod? v.19
6. What happened as a result? v.20
1. Why do you think the people wondered if John was the Christ?
2. What essential difference did John make between himself & Christ?
3. How did John's ministry come to an end?
Israel was in a spiritually dry condition at this time and a prophet had not been known in the land for centuries. Suddenly John appears and the people wonder if, after all these centuries, John is the Promised One of God, written about in the Old Testament prophecies. This gives John the opportunity to speak about Jesus. No, he says, when the expected one comes he will be far more powerful than me.
Here, we should note is the essential difference between John's ministry and that of Jesus – power! John simply spoke the word of God like a good prophet-teacher. Jesus did that but he also backed up his words by miracles, signs and wonders, healings, raising people from the dead. His was essentially a power ministry.
Look, says John, I baptise you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit so you will be immersed in the Spirit in a new way, and the work of the Spirit will be like fire coming and burning up all the wrong in you. The end product of his ministry, he goes on, will be a dividing out – the righteous from the unrighteous, and the unrighteous will be destroyed. In this John's message, and later Jesus' ministry, is no different from the Old Testament prophecies, that at the end people will either be followers of God or they will perish. That was the message then and it's still the message now.
1. A Messenger
2. A Power Ministry
Chapter: Luke 3
Passage: Luke 3:21-23
A. Find Out:
1. What does Luke now move on to cover? v.21a
2. What happened when Jesus was doing what? v.21b,22a
3. What was heard at the same time? v.22b Look up Luke 9:34-35
4. How old was Jesus when he started his ministry? v.23
5. Bonus: read verses 23-37 What do they tell you?
1. What do verses 21-22 tell us about Jesus?
2. What do verses 23-37 tell us about him?
3. Why do you think the two things are important?
Luke's version of the circumstances of Jesus' baptism is shorter than Matthew's. Luke simply wants to ensure he records God's testimony to His Son. Twice in each of the Synoptic Gospels, God's voice is heard from heaven speaking out His approval of His Son, the other time being when Jesus was transfigured. Here Luke simply records that Jesus was praying – communing with his Father – when the Spirit came down as a dove on Jesus. Did Jesus not have the Spirit? Yes, he already was the divine Son of God from conception. So why did the Spirit come like this? We're not told! However we may speculate that it was as part of a twofold sign of approval from heaven, like heaven and earth joining in perfect unity.
The Spirit came as a dove –a sign of peace – not as fire to burn up as at Pentecost. The voice from heaven confirms that this is God's Son, affirmed and approved. That is God's testimony, that this being is perfectly part of the Godhead.
Then Luke records the family tree running from Joseph right back to Adam. Why is this different from Matthew's tree? Because this is specifically from Joseph and goes back past Abraham to Adam. Having just recorded that this man is perfectly God, he also now records that he is perfectly human. That is the point of Luke's tree. Matthews seeks to show he was part of the family of David, a king. Luke shows him as a perfect man who has come to serve His Father.
1. My Divine Saviour.
2. My Human Example
RECAP: "The Herald Prepares the Way" - Luke 3
In this third group of 4 studies we have seen :
Again an amazing chapter, one that is full of detail, mostly about John as he comes preparing the way for Jesus. He comes because God's word comes to him and it's like he has to do it. As soon as he starts preaching, large crowds are attracted and his message has impact upon them. His role is to open up their hearts to God in preparation for the coming ministry of Jesus, and that is what he does. It is all part of the detailed plan of God for the ministry of His Son.
1. Our hearts need preparing, or focusing, to receive God
2. We need to turn from our ways to His.
3. We are not to rely on the name Christian, but on Christ.
4. We are to live righteous lives 24 hours a week.
5. We are to know the word and the Spirit and serve God with both.
6. Jesus is both perfect man and perfect God.
Ask the Lord to draw your heart so that you are all out for Him.
PART 3 : "Temptation, and start of Ministry"
In the coming chapters we'll first see Jesus being tempted, and then the start of his ministry in Galilee . Continuing Luke's mini accounts of testimonies to Jesus, watch how at the very start of his ministry, Jesus heralds himself in the synagogue, through the prophetic Scriptures. He follows this up with a deliverance instance, where even the demon heralds Jesus. This is followed by many demons heralding him! Wow!