Setting

After completing his ministry, John was put in prison by Herod. Luke makes a clear shift from John’s ministry to that of Jesus by mentioning John’s imprisonment before Jesus’ baptism. Although John was a key figure in the baptism of Jesus, Luke does not mention John at all. The narrative now focuses on Jesus. He comes on the scene as a man who was baptized with all the people, who had a genealogy, and who went through temptations. But He was more than a human being. In these opening accounts of Jesus’ ministry, we see Him as the perfect man who was also the Son of God.

Key Verse

(3:22)

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Outline

  • The Baptism of Jesus
    (3:21-22)
  • The Genealogy of Jesus
    (3:23-38)
  • The Temptations of Jesus
    (4:1-13)

General Analysis

  • 1.

    How does each of the 3 sections in this passage demonstrate both Jesus’ humanity and deity? a. His baptism b. His genealogy c. His temptation

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    a. Humanity: baptism in the likeness of a sinner according to God’s requirement.
    Deity: the descent of the Holy Spirit and the voice from heaven, demonstrating that He was God’s Son and the Messiah (Jn 1:32-34).
    b. Humanity: son of man.
    Deity: Son of David, demonstrating that He is the Messiah
    c. Humanity: tempted in every way just as we are.
    Deity: total victory over temptations.

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Segment Analysis

  • 3:21-22

    1.

    What is the purpose of Jesus’ baptism? Did He also need to repent?

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    The baptism of Jesus served as a testimony that Jesus was the “mightier One” who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire (Jn 1:32-34). In addition to being a testimony, the baptism of Jesus was to fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15). “Righteousness” refers to meeting God’s requirements. God’s requirement that Jesus be baptized may be a fulfillment of the requirement for priests, who were to be washed before their service (Ex 29:4). It could also be an example for all believers, to show that we must be baptized and receive the Holy Spirit to become the children of God (Gal 3:26,27; Rom 8:16).

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  • 2.

    Why is it significant that Jesus also was baptized while all the people were baptized?

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    Even though He was without sin, He was baptized along with all the people, taking on the form of a sinner (cf. Rom 8:3). Thus He shared our humanity and identified Himself with all the people.

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  • 3a.

    What events took place while Jesus prayed?

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  • 3b.

    What is the meaning of these events?

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    The opening of the heavens may be symbolic of the reconciliation between God and men which was made possible through Jesus. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was a sign that God had sent Jesus to the ministry (Lk 4:18). The descent of the Holy Spirit and the voice from heaven served as seal of approval that Jesus was “the beloved Son.”

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  • 4.

    How can we be God’s beloved children?

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    We can be God’s beloved children through faith in Christ (1Jn 5:1) andby imitating the Lord Jesus, who submitted to God’s requirements. We need to be baptized for the remission of sins (Gal 3:26-29) and receive the promised Holy Spirit (Rom 8:16; Gal 4:6-7). We also need to live a life that is well pleasing to the Father (Php 2:14-15).

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  • 3:23-38

    5.

    Compare and contrast this genealogy with the one recorded in Matthew

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    The book of Matthew begins the genealogy of Jesus with Abraham while Luke traces the genealogy back to Adam. Matthew starts with Abraham to show and emphasize that Jesus was the Son of Abraham, born according to promise. Luke’s intention was probably to identify Jesus as a member of the human race and to contrast the Second Adam with the first Adam (cf. Rom 5:14b; 1Cor 15:45-47).
    Matthew follows the line of Solomon while Luke follows that of Nathan (Solomon and Nathan were brothers). Some propose that Matthew’s genealogy records the ancestors of Joseph while Luke’s records the ancestors of Mary.

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  • 6.

    What is the purpose for the inclusion of Jesus’ genealogy?

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    1. To show that Jesus was a true historical figure and a son of man. 2. To show that Jesus was a descendant of David, for the Messiah must be David’s offspring.

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  • 4:1-13

    7a.

    Under what circumstance was Jesus tempted?

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    When He was filled with the Holy Spirit.

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  • 7b.

    What does this teach us?

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    We must be watchful at all times, even when we feel that we are close to God. Temptations may come suddenly after reaching spiritual heights.

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  • 8.

    Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. Why must Jesus go through temptations?

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    It was God’s will that Jesus should go through the suffering of temptation so that he may sympathize with our weaknesses and become our merciful and faithful High Priest (Heb 2:14-18). The victory of Jesus over the temptations also confirms what the Father spoke of Him earlier on, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

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  • 9a.

    What traps was the devil laying down with each of his temptations?

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    By asking Jesus to turn stones into bread, Satan hoped to lure Jesus into obeying his commands and misusing His divine power for personal interests.
    By asking Jesus to worship before him, Satan hoped that Jesus would defy God’s commands and surrender His authority to Satan in order to gain the world.
    By asking Jesus to throw Himself down the temple, Satan hoped that Jesus would prove his divinity by calling upon God’s protection.

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  • 9b.

    What are the common characteristics of temptations?

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    They all aim at these human weaknesses: self-centeredness; desire to prove oneself or to satisfy one’s lust; submission to Satan’s commands in exchange for physical or material gains.

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  • 9c.

    How are these three temptations similar to temptations we face today?

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    Jesus responded to Satan’s challenge to turn stones into bread by pointing out that obedience to God’s command in order to have spiritual life is more important than sustaining the body with food.
    Jesus turned down Satan’s attractive offer by God’s very command that we are to worship and serve only the Lord God. Jesus quoted the Scriptures, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” to show that it is wrong to deliberately put ourselves in a situation to test the truthfulness of God’s promise.

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  • 10.

    Explain each of Jesus’ responses to the devil’s temptations.

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  • 11.

    All the earthly authority and glory have been delivered to Satan, and he gives it to whomever he wishes (6). What does this fact teach you?

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    Satan has control over the authority, fame, and power of this world. Believers must not pursue vain glory because it comes with a price—compromising with and bowing down to Satan. Gaining the world but losing our soul (by sacrificing our time, energy, and loyalty to God for earthly glory) would be the most foolish exchange (Mt 16:26).

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  • 12a.

    What was the difference between Satan’s and Jesus’ use of the Scripture?

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    Satan misused the Scriptures in order to make his case strong. Such application of God’s word for self-justification or gratification is the source of error.
    Jesus’ quotations of God’s word, on the contrary, were all based on the truth in God’s words and a sincere obedience to God’s authority.

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  • 12b.

    What does this teach us about our attitude toward God’s word?

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    We should not use God’s word to justify ourselves for our selfish gain. Instead, we ought to study and apply God’s word with the intent to know and obey God’s will.

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  • 13.

    Learning from the example of Jesus, what enables us to overcome temptations?

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    Store God’s word in our hearts and know God’s will. Have a sincere desire to obey God’s will over our personal needs. Be faithful to God and not be distracted by material or fleshly allurement.

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  • 14.

    “Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.” What does this suggest, and what can we learn from this?

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    The devil did not give up despite his defeat. He would surely return and challenge Jesus with more temptations. We cannot afford to lose our vigilance even for a moment. We may have just claimed victory over some temptations, but we need to constantly equip ourselves with God’s word and Spirit in order to meet further challenges (Eph 6:10-18; 1Pet 5:8-9).

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