BIBLE: Luke Chapter 3 – Headline “Bad Leaders and Good Leaders”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Luke 3

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • The historical timing when Jesus was about 30 years of age was 29 AD.
  • Luke’s Genealogy
  • The character of Tiberius
  • The bad choices of the Jewish leaders in picking a leader.
  • God’s threshing floor

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (29 AD), Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
  • The Jewish leaders supported the wrong leaders:

►Tiberius Caesar reigned 14 AD to 37 AD

  • It was to Tiberius Caesar, a mad man, that the Jewish leaders gave their allegiance, shouting “We have no King but Caesar!”  Tiberius was known for his lurid acts of sexual perversity and cruelty, such as those which cannot be put into print.
  • One maiden of high birth chose to stab herself to death rather than submit to his inventions of perversities. Others, both men and women, who tried  to die under his sexual atrocities, he would force to live by having their mouths pried open and force fed, and not with modern medical equipment. Suetonius (historian of the day), describes Tiberius’ delight in inventing new torture techniques: Tiberius would force a subject to drink large quantities of wine. He would then have their genitals tied so tightly that they could not urinate. This would add new excruciating pain during ordinary torture.
  • When Tiberius died, Suetonius describes the sheer joy expressed by the Romans upon his death. People danced in the streets. The Senate refused to vote him divine honors, and mobs filled the streets yelling “To the Tiber with Tiberius!”— a method of disposal reserved for the corpses of criminals. Upon his death, the Romans felt as though they had just emerged from a nightmare…[Suetonius: Life of Tiberius 61:2]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius
  • (And yet, Tiberius would be nothing in comparison to Caligula!!)

The leaders of the Jews had a propensity for choosing monstrous men instead of their own Messiah. Tiberius was only one, when they cried out “We have no king but Caesar!” Other personalities were Herod (the Great), Barabbas, and prophesied yet to come: the Anitchrist.

► Herod the Great (Called “the Great” to identify him with other Herods who were all members of his family, most notably, his sons.)

  • Those who came to be called “The Herodians” were those who believed Herod (the Great) was the expected Messiah. “Those Jews who took Herod for the Messiah, and were thence called Herodians, seem to have grounded their opinion upon the seventy weeks of years (490 years), which they found between the Reign of Cyrus and that of Herod.”
    Of the Empire of the Persians ~ by Isaac Newton
    http://www.newtonproject.sussex.ac.uk/texts/viewtext.php?id=THEM00191&mode=normalized

► Barabbas (“Bar” translated is “son”, and “abba” means “father”. Together his name means “son of the father”).

  • In other words, Pilate asked them “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus “son of the father” or Jesus “Son of THE Father”? Jesus the murderer, or Jesus the Messiah?” They chose the murderer.
  • THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
Luke 3:(in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas) while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
  • The year of these events was 29 AD, the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar who reigned from 14 AD to 37 AD.
  • Annas and Caiaphas were the main instruments among the Jewish leaders in condemning Jesus. Politically, they were “beholden” to Herod for their positions.
    • THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
    • A story goes about a monkey in a jungle who came across a jar of monkey treats. He slipped his hand inside the jar and wrapped it around a juicy treat only to find he couldn’t squeeze his fist back out of the opening. He tried to take the jar with him but it was secured tightly to a tree. After holding it too long, he let go and his hand came out. It felt good to be free, but he couldn’t forget about that jar, so he returned more determined to get his treat refusing to let go.
      The trees rustled as two men appeared, wanting to get his treats the monkey surmised. The two men released the jar from the tree, captured the monkey, and took the monkey to a medical lab where it became the subject of many medical experiments.
Luke 3:And he (John the baptizer) went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins,
  • There is a difference between the baptism of repentance and the baptism of Jesus. The baptism of repentance was to prepare the Jews for the coming Messiah. The baptism of Jesus (and likewise Christians) was a baptism of death (to self) by the Holy Spirit.
    • Acts 19:4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.”
    • Acts 11:16 Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, ‘John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
    • Acts 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
    • Mark 10:38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? Mark 10:39 They said to Him, “We are able.” So Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized;
  • Note: The season had to be warm enough to baptize people outside in the Jordan river, helping to further identify the timing of events:
    • The climate in Palestine both today and at the time of Jesus has two distinct seasons. The wet or rainy season is from the middle of October to the middle of April. The dry or summer season lasts from the middle of June until the middle of September.
    • It is likely John baptized between mid-June to Mid-Sept in 29 AD.
Luke 3:as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make His paths straight.
Luke 3:Every valley shall be filled
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough ways smooth;
  • John is echoing the prophet’s Isaiah’s words:
    • Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth;
Luke 3:And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”
  • Jesus’ name means “salvation”.

John Preaches to the People

Luke 3:Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood (Offspring) of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luke 3:Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
  • Prophetic: Echoing the verbiage of Jesus confronting the leaders and Pharisees who heard the rumors that Jesus was the son of fornication since Mary was not married (Blasphemy), they claiming THEY were NOT the sons of fornication, THEY were sons of Abraham; never being able to accept that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, this being the unforgivable sin. Jesus countered that it was they who were the sons (seed) of the serpent from Genesis 3:15, and therefore: they were the seed of Satan prophesied to bruise His heel.
  • When Jesus rode into Jerusalem as King of the Jews, the leaders were incensed: Luke 19:40 The leaders demanded He stop them from praising Him! But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (The stones are symbolic of the children of Abraham per John the baptizer’s words.)
Luke 3:And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
  • Matthew 21:18 The Fig Tree Withered (The Fig Tree is symbolic of the nation Israel) Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He was hungry. 19And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away.
Luke 3:10 So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”
Luke 3:11 He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
Luke 3:12 Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
Luke 3:13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”
Luke 3:14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”
So he said to them, “Do not (Lit. shake down for money) intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
  • Note: Jesus did not tell soldiers “do not kill”.
Luke 3:15 Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not,
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire (judgment).
  • A sandal is symbolic of authority, similar to “standing on your neck”.
  • The Holy Spirit is a sword forged in fire.
Luke 3:17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor (Jerusalem), and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”

►The threshing floor is the city of Jerusalem purchased by King David from Araunah the Jebusite.
Isaiah 21:10 Oh, my threshing and the grain of my floor! That which I have heard from the Lord of hosts, The God of Israel, I have declared to you.

  • The gathering of wheat happens during the Autumn harvest around the High Holy Days.
  • The wheat is the godly. The chaff is the ungodly.
  • To separate the chaff from the wheat is called “threshing” in which the wheat is beaten. This event is described perfectly as the seven year tribulation. A harvest is symbolic of a resurrection.
  • The meaning of unquenchable fire is a burning that cannot be extinguished. This fits the description of the lake of fire or the place of torments described in the Rich Man and Lazerus.

►Moral of the Story

  • God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Ultimately God will clean out a swamp at the time He chooses and justice will then be served. He is neither blind nor ignorant of man’s darkness. He provided His Son’s blood to neutralize the darkness. The places where the darkness is not neutralized will eventually be purified.
Luke 3:18 And with many other exhortations he preached to the people.
Luke 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch (Herod Antipas), being rebuked by him (John the baptizer) concerning Herodias, his (brother’s wife) brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod (Antipas) had done,
Herod’s Dynasty
Luke 3:20
20 also added this, above all, that he (Herod Antipas) shut John (the baptizer) up in prison.

John Baptizes Jesus

Luke 3:21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
  • According to Luke chapter 1, Jesus would have been baptized in 29 AD being about 30 years of age.
Luke 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

Luke 3:23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli,
Luke 3:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph,
Luke 3:25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
Luke 3:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,
Luke 3:27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
Luke 3:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,
Luke 3:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
Luke 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim,
Luke 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
Luke 3:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
Luke 3:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
Luke 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
Luke 3:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
Luke 3:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
Luke 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan,
Luke 3:38 the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

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