December 3- Advent 3 – Jesus is Baptized, the Genealogy of Mary

Read Luke 3.John, the first miracle child we learned about in Luke 1, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth (who was once called barren) rises up from the wilderness preaching the Word of God, and baptizing people for repentance and the forgiveness of their sins.A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” – Isaiah 40:3-5 (ESV)John was indeed a curiosity. Many came to John for baptism not realizing that repentance was John’s central theme. Be baptized, turn from your old ways, prepare the way of the Lord!As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Luke 3:15-17 (ESV)John’s calling was to point to the One far greater than him. John could only lead people to repent and to see their sins. John could only baptize with water. Jesus is the only One who would take our sins away.John was not without controversy. Herod had John imprisoned because John had the audacity to point out that Herod was sleeping with his brother’s wife among other evil things Herod was doing. But John would not be silent.Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22 (ESV)It seems odd that Jesus was baptized. Why would someone with no sin need baptism?At the moment of Jesus’ baptism, He took on all the sins of humanity. The waters that cleansed us of our sins, laid them upon the One with no sin, the one that would put those sins to death forever on the cross.Jesus was sent forth on His mission to do for humanity what humanity cannot do for itself.It seems odd too that this is where Luke puts Jesus’ genealogy. Matthew also records Jesus’ genealogy, but the two are different. It is said that Luke gives Mary’s genealogy- Jesus’ true human line, that traces him back to Adam. It is said that Matthew’s genealogy traces back through Jesus’ stepfather, Joseph. The point of the genealogy is to verify the prophecy that Jesus was a descendant of David and the rightful heir of the human side of the kingly line.Jesus is both God and man, which seems to make no sense, but for our salvation it does make sense.

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