Text: Luke 3:1-22
Event(s): John the Baptist begins his ministry; Jesus is Baptized
Luke 3:8 “bear fruits worthy of repentance“the Greek word for repent is metanoeo, from the root words meta meaning “after” and noeo meaning “to think”. Repentance is a decision (not a feeling) that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.
Luke 3:10-14 Three groups of people asked John “what shall we do“; the people (vs 10), the tax collectors (vs 12) and the soldiers (vs 14). John responded by giving them practical examples of what changed behavior looked like within each of their given spheres of life. Again emphasizing that repentance is much more than an emotion or even remorse. While internal sorrow may be felt, repentance involves renouncing and reversal. It results in a changed perspective and conduct – in all areas of our lives.
Luke 3:21 Baptism was an outward expression of repentance, but Jesus was without sin, and was still baptized. Why? Because baptism also signifies submission to God’s will.
The Gospel of Matthew records that when questioned about why He was coming to be baptized, Jesus answered John and said it was fitting “to fulfill all righteousness“. So what did that mean? There are two different uses of the word “righteousness” in the NT. The Apostle Paul used it to describe a right standing before God, or positional righteousness which can only be accomplished through a relationship with Jesus. By making Him Lord of our lives, we are brought into right standing with the Father. However, Matthew uses the word righteousness to describe ethical righteousness, or a conformity to God’s will. Therefore, a righteous person is one who is in right standing with the Father and who lives in harmony with His will. Jesus was baptized because it was an outward expression of His inward submission to the Father’s will. He was setting an example for us.
Today’s Takeaway: I once heard it said that love chooses to do the maximum instead of the minimum. Today, let us practice going over and above what we would normally do – beyond the attitude of what we feel we “have to” do and instead choose to do more. Not because of the act itself, not to draw attention to ourselves, but because of what it reflects to others of who Jesus is in us. He will give the grace to do it.
Additional (optional) reading: I highly recommend reading through the parallel accounts of this passage in the other three Gospels (Matthew 3:1-17 and Mark 1:1-11 and John 1:19-34) Our 80 day reading plan does not include these references as part of the daily text, but I will be sharing the parallel references in the “additional (optional) reading” throughout this study.