Bible Commentaries

Luke 3

Verses 1-38

Luke marks with great care the time of the ministry of John, employing an emperor, a governor, three tetrarchs, and two high priests to do it. By means of these names a picture of the world at the time is given to us: the empire under Tiberius Caesar, the commonwealth of Israel divided and governed by four of Rome's vassals, the priesthood degraded by a dual leadership contrary to all the law of God. It was then that the Word of God came to John, the most important event of the time.

With the coming of the Word to him, John became a public figure. Men crowded to listen to him. It was a stern preaching of repentance, and formed the prelude to the music of Messiah's message. Then came the Messiah Himself. At His baptism He received a twofold seal: the direct declaration of the pleasure of God, and the anointing of the Spirit.

At this point Luke speaks of Jesus' age, about thirty, and gives His actual genealogy, tracing it back through Mary and David to Adam.