Knowing Our Roots
Great God, I rejoice today in Your Word, so complex and yet so simple. I receive it gladly today.
Read LUKE 3:21-38
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). By God’s grace, that is your identity.
In an uncertain world, knowing where we come from can be important. This is illustrated by the growth in Internet genealogy research. This passage is about who Jesus is, with implications for both him and us. At the start of Jesus’ ministry, Luke reminds us of his divine identity and his human roots. He is God’s Son and he is the final one of a list of sons traced back to Adam. In giving us this family tree stretching back to creation, Luke is telling us not just that Jesus is Israel’s “Messiah,” another meaning of “Son of God,” but that all creation would benefit from what he came to do. The genealogy in Matthew’s Gospel differs significantly in places: it is much the same from Abraham to David, but diverges from that point on. One explanation for the difference is that in a small nation like Israel, it’s possible to trace one’s ancestry through different routes.
Jesus is baptized, although it’s not necessary, and in so doing identifies himself fully with us in our sinfulness. As he’s praying, heaven opens, his Father speaks, and a dove (an early Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit) descends upon him. Picture the scene; dwell on the warm, rich and full affirmation given by his heavenly Father. What a wonderful statement! Yet it’s one that echoes the Old Testament in pointing to the Messianic Servant figure who must follow the path of suffering for the salvation of many (Isa. 42:1). Jesus knew who he was and what he had come to do.
How does knowing that you are a loved child of God affect your engagement with others and your view of your own family background?
Lord Jesus, You were rich yet You became poor for my sake. Thank You that through Your poverty I have become rich in so many ways.