Skip Navigation

The Roots of Christ’s Authority – Luke 3

Luke 3:1-6 – John the Wild Man

This chapter gives us the first look into John the Baptist’s ministry, and to put it bluntly – he was a wild man. John wore camel skin, ate bugs, lived in the wilderness, and hollered at people. But, in verses 4-6, we get a really cool insight into why the Lord sent John ahead of Jesus. These verses, quoted from Isaiah, say that John’s job is to make it easier for everyone to see and hear Jesus. The picture is of every obstacle being removed so people can “see the salvation of God,” which we know is Jesus.

Luke 3:15-17 – Jesus > John

Some people were wondering if John was the Messiah, and John wanted to make it clear that he was just a servant of the coming Messiah. John’s language is intense and divisive, but he wanted to make it obvious that Jesus, and not John, was the Messiah. He compares himself to Jesus so that it will be clear how much greater Jesus is than himself. John says that, compared to Christ, he is not worthy of performing the job of the lowest of servants. John also points out that his baptism is symbolic, whereas Christ’s baptism will be in the Holy Spirit. We see John speaking words of judgment in verses 7-13, but Jesus will actually judge people for all eternity. John is right when he says, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Our lives should also be lived this way.

Luke 3:21-22 – Jesus is Baptized

Luke records the baptism of Jesus in two quick verses, but we can’t skip over this and miss the significance. Let’s be clear that Jesus, while he was on earth, was always fully God and fully man. Jesus did not become anything else at his baptism, but this can be highlighted as the moment when his authority became actual. Everything we have seen until this moment was looking forward to what Christ’s authority would be like; now, his authority is here!

Also, something amazing happens at Jesus’ baptism, which only happens a few times in all the Scriptures. We see all three persons of the Trinity at work in a singular event. Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile puts it this way, “The fullness of God in all three persons of the Trinity unites in revealing Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Israel’s Savior.” God the Father is pleased to see Christ the Son working out the plan of salvation for all mankind – what a glorious moment! 

Luke 3:23-38 – JesusFamily Tree

Now, it is easy to get to a big list of unpronounceable names and skip over it. Who even is Elmadam, and why does he matter? Fair question, but the genealogies (Bible word for big ole list o’ names) are often very important and insightful. Even though all the names on this list are unfamiliar, they are important because we see the fulfillment of so many promises.

In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve sin and broke fellowship with God. God banished them from the Garden but made a promise to Eve that her offspring would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). Here in Luke 3, we see that Jesus, having no earthly father but being the offspring of a woman, is also a descendant of Adam and Eve. He has the positional authority to crush the head of the serpent! God purposed this line of people to be kept over thousands of years through people like David, Abraham, and Noah, not because they were good, but because God is faithful. Everyone in Jesus’ genealogy, from Adam to his earthly father Joseph, fell short. But Jesus would not fall short. He would fulfill the plan that God purposed before the world began!


Look at Luke 3:18-20. What can we learn from John’s ministry and his conviction to fulfill his role?

In chapter 3, we finally see Jesus’ authority become a reality. Think about all the people in the genealogy who were looking forward to the Messiah. This chapter contains the culmination of thousands of years of history looking forward to the One who would come and redeem God’s people. Just chew on that for a bit because it is so good!


Do you recognize any of the names from the genealogy? If so, who? What promise was fulfilled through that person?

Reread the passage quoting Isaiah in Luke 3:4-6. In what way does the language speak about the coming Messiah and John’s role to “prepare the way of the Lord?”

Memory verse:

John answered them all, saying, I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

LUke 3:16

Want to get this Luke Bible Study delivered via 4 daily emails?

April 19, 2024

Subscribe for Updates