Read Luke Chapter 3
It’s interesting to note that Luke is careful to record the times events had taken place. In those days and for many previous centuries the times were measured against the current ruling Kings. The Romans referred to their Emperor and to their Consuls while the Jews might refer to their High Priests. This can present difficulties when trying to date historical events. Luke includes a lot of these kinds of details to make his account as accurate as possible. If he had had a calendar I’m certain he would have used actual dates if he could.
Having heard about the striking circumstances surrounding the pregnancy of John the Baptist’s mother Elizabeth in Chapter 1, we now see his calling and ministry. Yet again Luke is careful to link the ‘current’ events with relevant prophesy found in the Scriptures (Old Testament).
Luke 3:4 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make ready the way of the Lord, Make His paths straight. 5 ‘Every ravine will be filled, And every mountain and hill will be brought low; The crooked will become straight, And the rough roads smooth; 6 And all flesh will see the salvation of God.’” (Isaiah 40:4-5)
John lived in the wilderness, ate locusts and wild honey, upset the Religious Jews, calling them a ‘brood of vipers’ and pointed many sections of society to Jesus. Interestingly, Luke chooses to showcase tax collectors and soldiers, people who Jews hate. This signifies that salvation was for all people, not just for the Jews. Remarkably, Johns tenure seems short and we find him in prison, because he upset the wrong man, King Herod. But before he is arrested he has the privilege of baptising Jesus. This event would mark the anointing and commencement of Jesus’ ministry and the diminishing of John’s. John had faithfully fulfilled his mandate to prepare the way and his ministry culminated in baptising His Lord.
Chapter 3 ends with the all important genealogy, showing Jesus’ connection to Adam and to God through the flesh (he had to be after all, fully man as well as the miraculously conceived Son of God). We find here that having fallen off the radar, Jesus reappears at 30 years of age. We can determine perhaps that Mary his mother was given those years to enjoy her special son all to herself. Meanwhile, Jesus lived a healthy, ordinary, yet sinless, life as a carpenter in Nazareth.