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Summary: Lessons learned from the Baptism of Jesus wrapping up with a brief lesson on the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

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Gospel of Luke 3:21, 22

We are in a message series on the Gospel of Luke

The word “gospel” literally means “good news”

So, you could say that this series is about “The good news of Luke”

What exactly is this good news?

Simply put, it’s the life story of Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most influential person who has ever existed

Even if you’re not a Christian, or even a particularly religious person, you cannot deny this fact

No one life has affected the whole of humanity more than Jesus Christ

Since He has affected the world so deeply you would think that all of us would know a lot about Him, but unfortunately that is not true

Many claim to know about Jesus, but in reality few people really do

The Gospel of Luke details the events of Jesus’ life from His birth to His death on the cross and subsequent resurrection

Luke is written by a Gentile to a Gentile audience

Since the vast majority of us listening to this message are Gentiles I think it’s very appropriate that we study this Gospel

Today we’re going to be looking at Luke Chapter 3

At the beginning of chapter 3 we read about Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist

John is an interesting character, living in the desert, wearing clothes made from Camel hair, and eating locusts & honey

Even though these characteristics may make us questions John’s mental stability, he had a very vital role to play in Jesus’ ministry

John was the prophet foretold about in Old Testament prophecy that would precede the coming of the Messiah

John’s message was simple – prepare the way of the Lord

In other words, get ready because the Messiah is coming!

In addition to preaching John also was baptizing people

Why was he doing this?

We tend to think of Baptism in the Christian context – that once we’ve received Christ as our Savior we follow His command and be baptized in water

But how many of you knew that baptism was something that had been practiced among the Jews as well?

To the Jews baptism was an act of ceremonial cleansing

All priests were required to go through this ceremonial cleansing before they began their ministry in the temple

Anything used in the service of the temple – clothing, utensils, furniture, etc. – also went through this ceremonial baptism

John’s baptism was a little different though

The baptism of John was a baptism of repentance

This is not to be confused with a Christian baptism – Christianity did not exist yet

John’s baptism was simply calling people to repent of their sins and get ready for the coming of the Messiah

So, in picking up our story, John the Baptist was at the river Jordan baptizing people when suddenly his cousin Jesus showed up

Now before I continue let me tell you that what I’m about to preach I fully believe to be the truth, however I admit that I may not fully understand all the theology involved.

I could easily be wrong, but in prayerful consideration I believe what I’m teaching is true – if I ever find out different I will let you know


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Talk about it...

Frank Wood

commented on Mar 14, 2017

I agree with this except for the relationship between John and Jesus. Luke 1:36, is an angel saying to Mary (NIV) "Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age." You repeated the cousin relationship that is commonly mentioned today because of the King James Version. The New International Version went back to the original text and found it to mean "relative." I was told that even the word used in the KJV was a broad word for a relative. How old was Mary? That is unknown, but I have seen estimates from 12-16 years old. How old was Elizabeth? That too is unknown, but we have an age range because of passages like 1:36 above and Luke 1:7 says she and Zechariah were both very old. So how old could Elizabeth be, using the description and remembering that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). I would say Elizabeth is probably 66-96, thus 50-80 years older than Mary. I prefer to say they are related, because that is how I believe the word is translated, and then if I were to add anything, I would say, due to the age difference, Elizabeth was most likely an aunt or a great aunt, with a small possibility that she could be a first cousin once, twice, or even three times removed.

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