Loving Lord, thank you for the gift of this day. May I spend it with my mind and heart fixed on you, ready to do your will.
Read LUKE 3:21 – 4:13
The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus
21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,
the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, the son of Melki,
the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos,
the son of Nahum, the son of Esli,
the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath,
the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein,
the son of Josek, the son of Joda,
27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa,
the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,
the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melki,
the son of Addi, the son of Cosam,
the son of Elmadam, the son of Er,
29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer,
the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat,
the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon,
the son of Judah, the son of Joseph,
the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim,
31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna,
the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan,
the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse,
the son of Obed, the son of Boaz,
the son of Salmon,[a] the son of Nahshon,
33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram,[b]
the son of Hezron, the son of Perez,
the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob,
the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham,
the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu,
the son of Peleg, the son of Eber,
the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan,
the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem,
the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch,
the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel,
the son of Kenan, 38 the son of Enosh,
the son of Seth, the son of Adam,
the son of God.
Jesus Is Tested in the Wilderness
4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 where for forty days he was tempted[c] by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’[d]”
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”
8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’[e]”
9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[f]”
12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[g]”
13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘O love of God, how rich and pure! / How measureless and strong! / It shall forevermore endure – / the saints’ and angels’ song.’1
Luke focuses on Jesus’ baptismal experience, the foundation from which all his ministry will come. In this scene the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in bodily form as a dove and the Father speaks a profoundly personal word to Jesus – an affirmation that Jesus needed to hear: ‘You are my Son, the beloved, in you I take great delight’ (v 22, paraphrased).
It is amazing that the Father speaks this directly to Jesus before he has done anything for him. In fact, Luke next tells us that Jesus then ‘began his ministry’ (v 23), which implies that this experience is the springboard for the many amazing things which Jesus goes on to say and do. God’s love and pleasure in Jesus does not result from anything he does but is simply because Jesus is his Son. This implies that nothing can change this love and that Jesus finds great security and identity in the closeness of this unique relationship. This intimacy and affirmation is the very thing that empowers Jesus to endure testing in the desert, faithfully to minister to people for the next three years and, ultimately, to go to the cross.
We live in a world of earned acceptance and conditional love. Yet God’s love, so unlike the world’s, is freely available for you. God’s fatherly love is totally independent of anything you do for him. He loves you because you are his child: nothing can change that. It’s not a formal love, but a passionate love, the kind of love that leads to great pleasure and delight. This love will empower you to do great things for God in your life, but these are always the result, never the cause. God’s intimate love is the foundation for all else.
In silence, let God’s love root and ground you. Focus on this powerful and simple truth: ‘You are my child, the beloved, in you I take great delight.’
Precious Savior, there is no action I can ever take that could match your love poured out for me. Take my deeds that show your love for others and use them for your glory.
1 Frederick Martin Lehman, ‘The Love of God is Greater Far’, 1917
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