DETAILS: Luke wrote this gospel to provide an 'orderly account... so that we may know the certainty of the things we have been taught' (Luke 1:1). Look at all of the historical facts that Luke records in the first 2-1/2 verses of chapter three. This isn't just some story he made up and wrote down. Although Luke was not an eyewitness, it is very obvious he did thorough research that we can trust.
NOT THE 'BEST WAY' TO GAIN FOLLOWERS: John the Baptist's biggest priority was not growing a huge crowd that he could later capitalize on, rather John was committed to proclaiming the word of God (v2). The first words Luke records him as saying are to call the people who have gathered a brood of vipers (v7). Normally, insulting people is not the best way to get them to follow you, but the Holy Spirit has His own 'best practices' manual, and He uses John's words to convict the crowds of their sins and to repent. John also stood up to the immorality of King Herod, a stand that would later cost John his head.
HOLY SPIRIT WATCH: As we read through Luke, we're looking for mentions of the Holy Spirit. We can add two more references in chapter three (v16 & v22), including the famous appearance where the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in the form of a dove.
DON'T FAST FORWARD THROUGH THE GENEALOGY: It's so tempting to skip through all of those hard to read names, but these weird names actually connect you and Jesus. First, we need to acknowledge that Luke's genealogy is different from Matthew's. The possible reasons for this are more complicated than we can deal with today, but it is something you need to be aware of. Secondly, Luke (who had a Greek background) goes farther back than does the Jewish Matthew, who began with the father of the Jews, Abraham. Luke traces Jesus' line all the way back to our biological father, Adam, who was 'the son of God' (v38). We are all born in Adam, the failed son of God, but by God's grace, those who have faith are now in Christ, the Son of God with whom the Father is well pleased (v22).
This Sunday (June 28) we look forward to coming together to celebrate Communion. Tuesday we were reminded to examine our faith in the doctrine expressed in scripture and summarized on our confessions. Wednesday we looked at who and what our hope is based upon, and yesterday we were reminded what it means to love God & our neighbor.
If these marks of spiritual life are not evident in you, you may not presume to approach His table. Those, therefore, who live in self-righteousness, who hope in works or virtues of their own, and who do not show love to God and neighbor, have no true place at the Lord's supper.
Yet you should not be deterred by any sin lingering within against your will. As you find faith, hope, and love within yourself, you ought gladly to obey our Lord's command and come with full expectation to God's open house of mercy.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The Father of all who has brought His people salvation (v6)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (v8)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: