Every Christmas one of my Catholic relatives will say something like, “May the Baby Jesus watch over you and bless you.” I replied once that Baby Jesus grew up and they laughed. They didn’t get it. It has to be that they see so many statues of the Baby Jesus, that they must think that there are 2 Jesus’ — a baby and a grown man. I don’t know!
In Luke chapter 3, we find Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, following his calling to announce the arrival of the Lord. Luke tells us exactly when it happened by naming emperors, governors and rulers. We have several Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled here.
It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
One Sunday in church last year, the pastor asked us to be silent and to listen to what God was trying to tell us individually. I clearly heard — “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness“. I looked up all the John the Baptist scenes in the 4 Gospels as well as the prophecy in Isaiah. I thought deeply about them — meditated on them. This blog and podcast are the result. I am a voice crying in the wilderness of the Internet and social media. Jesus is coming back soon and the people need to be warned and readied. They need to hear the Good News!
7 When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes (vipers)! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath? 8 Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones. 9 Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”
11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”
12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”
14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.
John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” 18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.
19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done. 20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.
The Baptism of Jesus
21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”
Here is the Holy Trinity — God in 3 persons — appearing at one time. God tells the world that Jesus is His Son and the Holy Spirit appears like a dove. It’s not a dove — but that’s the best way that the people of that day could describe Him.
The baptism of Jesus is important. He, as our savior, never sinned, so why should He be baptized? He did it to show us what we have to do. For us, baptism is a public display of faith. Baptism in itself doesn’t save us. Only belief in Jesus as our savior does. We then have to repent of our sins — that means to stop sinning! Baptism by immersion, then shows us and the world that we are dying to our old life and are raised to a new life through Jesus.
The Ancestors of Jesus
23 Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.
Jesus was known as the son of Joseph.
Joseph was the son of Heli…. read the rest here…
…Seth was the son of Adam.Luke 3:1-23, 38 NLT
Adam was the son of God.
I’m not going to go through the whole of Jesus’ genealogy. However, there are a few important points here. The Jewish Messiah is supposed to be of the bloodline of David. Except, Jesus wasn’t really Joseph’s son. Legally He was, that’s why Matthew’s genealogy in Matthew 1, proves that. Here, in verse 23, the Greek word for “son” is “son-in-law”, which means that Heli was Mary’s father. And, Heli was a direct descendant of David — in the royal bloodline. The lineage actually goes all the way to Adam, who is called “God’s son”. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David. Thus, Jesus fulfills all the prophecies.
Jesus is Coming Back Soon!
How are you preparing for Him? If He came back right now, what would He find you doing? Would He approve?
The Rapture could happen at any moment. Check out the music video at the bottom. There’s a line that says, “Behold He Comes, riding on the clouds, at the trumpet call.” I can picture Jesus surfing on the clouds and the trumpet blaring, “It’s time! Come!” and all the born-again Christian believers will be caught up with Him in the sky.
If you’re left behind, hopefully, you’ll realize what happened and repent and believe right then and there. Ultimately, you’ll have to suffer through the great tribulation. That won’t be fun. But you’ll be saved, that is, not go to hell.
It’s your choice!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Top image CC BY-SA 3.0.