by Dr. Stephen Rummage on February 25, 2021
April 08, 2021
Today, we meet Jesus as He begins His ministry, and specifically the moment He is revealed as God’s beloved Son. Luke 3:21-38 shows us the significant moment when God calls out and identifies Jesus as His own Son while being baptized by John the Baptist. It is here that we see that Jesus did not become the Son of God at the moment of His baptism, but instead Jesus is revealed as God's Son throughout all of eternity.
This passage not only reveals to us that Jesus is the Son of God, but it also reveals several important truths for us today...
In Jesus’ revelation as God’s beloved Son, we see…
1. An Act of Identification with Humanity (v.21)
“Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying…” Luke 3:21
Though Jesus was without sin and with no need for repentance or forgiveness, Jesus still decided to take His place among all people and identify with fallen humanity through the act of baptism. As a perfect human Jesus didn’t need baptism; but He accepted baptism in obedient service to God the Father. Why? Because He was identifying with the very sinners that God sent Him to save. Jesus was baptized as part of His identification with us, while He also commands us to be baptized as our identification with Him. Baptism is for us to show that we have died to our old self, and come alive to newness and eternal life through Jesus!
2. A Sign of Authentication from the Holy Spirit (v.21-22)
“...the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, like a dove…” Luke 3:21-22
As the heavens were opened, we find the Holy Spirit authenticating what has always been true, that Jesus is the Son of God. This reminds us that Jesus is, was, always has been, and always will be the Son of God. The person and work of Jesus Christ, His life, His death, His resurrection, are the strongest authentications that God is real, that we can know Him, and that His Word is true.
3. A Word of Commendation from God the Father
“… and a voice came from heaven, 'You are My beloved Son; with You I am well pleased.'" Luke 3:22
Luke 3:22 is one of clearest presentations of the Trinity in scripture as it perfectly captures all three Persons in one of the most significant moments. Notice how God the Son is coming up from the water of the Jordan, and God the Holy Spirit descending upon Him like a dove, and God the Father is speaking from heaven saying “You are my beloved Son, with You I am well pleased.”
If Jesus truly is God’s beloved Son - and God says He is - then we should listen to Him, and not ignore Him. Then we should receive Him, not reject Him. Then we should obey Him, not defy Him. Then we should love Him, adore Him, serve Him, magnify Him, lift His name up, praise Him all our days, glorify Him, tell others about Him, proclaim Him, bear witness to Him, exalt Him, exult in Him, live for Him, and we should die for Him. Why? Because He is the Father’s beloved Son, in whom God is well pleased!
4. A Ministry of Reconciliation for Sinners
“Jesus, when He began His ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli… the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.” Luke 3:23,38
Luke tells us that at age 30 Jesus begins His public ministry while taking steps closer to the cross of Calvary. But then Luke presents a genealogy of Jesus that is different from the genealogy given by Matthew’s gospel. Matthew starts with Abraham and works his way forward to Jesus, whereas Luke starts with Jesus and works His way backwards to Adam. Matthew emphasizes Jesus’ identity with Israel, whereas Luke emphasizes Jesus’ identity with the human race. Matthew traces Jesus’ legal ancestry through His earthly father, whereas Luke seems to trace Jesus’ physical ancestry through His mother Mary. Though they may be different, all the names listed in the genealogies have this in common: every person on the list is a sinner who has fallen short of the glory of God. Why does the list begin with Jesus and end with Adam? Because Jesus came to reconcile sinners back to God, including you and me.
The message is clear. We are to follow Jesus, God’s beloved Son, into baptism. Baptism was a serious issue for Jesus. Baptism was a serious issue for the early church. Is baptism a serious issue to you? Scripture clearly teaches that baptism is for those who have trusted Jesus as Savior. Have you responded and followed Christ in baptism?
If you have any questions on baptism, or have any prayer needs, you can call (405) 302-3030 or you can text your first name to (405) 256-4701. We would love to connect with you!
Watch the full sermon here.