Luke chapter 01 - Jesus the Ideal Man, part 1
Expect the unexpected. The complacent favourites will lose, and those who are rejected and despised will win.
Luke's Gospel tells us about the human side of Jesus.
This is summed up by the 2016 presidential election in America : expect the unexpected.
The no-hoper who is called "the Trump" convincingly beat the firm favourite and obvious choice Hillary Clinton. Hillary had ten times more money to spend and she had the full backing of her party leaders and all the expert polls. Trump was condemned by the press and media as well as by his own party leaders. By winning, Trump sent shockwaves around the Earth.
So what is God trying to make us aware of? What sign of the times is this?
Another trump is also going to send shockwaves around the earth.
I THESSALONIANS 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
"The trump" is mentioned in association with the time of the resurrection of the dead Christians from the 2 000 years of church history. After that the living Christians will be changed into new immortal bodies which can defy the downward pull of gravity and go up to meet Jesus in the air. Christians today are pulled down by beliefs that cannot be proven from the Bible. Very few only believe what the Bible says. And they are despised and criticized for doing that. Going up is unnatural to us living humans, and few there will be of us who manage to do so.
I CORINTHIANS 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The resurrection and the changing of the body will be the last two events before the coming of the Lord Jesus.
"a shout" is a message like John the Baptist's to shake us out of denominational and non-denominational traditions and doctrines of man and make us Scriptural in what we believe.
The archangel is the mighty angel of Revelation Chapter 10 who comes down and uses his powerful "voice" to raise the dead from land and sea where they were buried.
Then "the trump" will be at the time of the changing of the body as "the trump" summons us up to Heaven to meet Jesus as He comes down.
A trumpet in Scripture was a warning for war.
I CORINTHIANS 14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
A spiritual battle. The churches preach partly from the Bible and partly from man-made doctrine and tradition. This is an uncertain sound. We need to be completely Scriptural.
Before the resurrection and the trump actually happens, God sends a natural sign, as in the American election, to attract our attention and warn us that His Second Coming is imminent.
So who will be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus? Not many.
LUKE 18:8......Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The firm favourites who feel so complacently secure in their churches will lose out and the no-hopers and the despised and written-off "heretics" ( or bad guys ) who disagree with the churches will win, to every one's shock and surprise. The so-called church experts and church leaders have got it all wrong in the same way that all the expert polls got the election all wrong.
God's thinking is very different to our human thinking.
Could such a thing be possible?
Yes. Jesus warned us that this would happen.
MATTHEW 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
:3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
God first calls the saved Christians to the wedding supper. They get first option. But they are not interested. They want their comfortable and popular church doctrines and traditions. The crown without the cross. Not staying just with the Bible, as that is too old-fashioned and primitive.
MATTHEW 22:4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
:5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
:6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
Christians are not interested in proving their beliefs from Scripture. All the Scriptures that they do not understand are dismissed or made light of as "not important". Christians detest anyone who tells them that their churches are wrong. Any Bible verse that contradicts their beliefs is ignored. The people who try to correct them suffer character assassination. Each church group is convinced that they are right. A comfortable doctrinal smugness has settled over the churches. The sign on the church door says "Please do not disturb, or else..."
MATTHEW 22:8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. ( the saved Christians who prefer churchianity, saved Christians who have been blessed with prosperity and wealth, the saved Christians who are important and famous, the church leaders )
MATTHEW 22:9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. ( the rejects who want to be Scriptural, the despised, the no-hopers, the heretics, the poor )
MATTHEW 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad ( like Trump ) and good ( like Pence. His name implies being poor rather than rich. Pounds, shillings and Pence ): and the wedding was furnished with guests.
So Luke's Gospel will tell us what we do not want to hear.
We need to change if we want to be ready for the Coming of the Lord. His Coming is going to be different to what we think or expect.
In the New Testament, God has four beasts or living creatures around His throne that act as bodyguards for His Body, which is the church.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,
Only the body of believers that Jesus saves and who remain subject to His Word, form His spiritual body, known as His Bride or the wise virgins.
This is the heart of Christianity. We must be saved and also be obedient to what is written in the Bible.
REVELATION 4:6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
:7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
A calf is a young ox.
It is always difficult to describe a spiritual vision of Heaven in our earthly terms, but Ezekiel saw something similar in the Old Testament about 600 years before John's Book of Revelation.
EZEKIEL 1:10 As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.
The eagle would be flying above them.
In the New Testament God’s throne is where He dwells in the hearts of born again men and women.
The four chambers of the heart symbolize the four creatures around God's throne.
God has described the launch of His church (the body of Christ) in the Book of Acts.
This church was at its best during New Testament days and then, making the mistake of becoming subject to human leadership, it began to fall away in the Dark Ages.
Luke is the third of the four Gospels that surround and protect the Book of the "Acts of the Holy Spirit in His early church apostles".
As such, Luke also represents the third beast seen around the throne of God, that had a face as a man.
Luke thus presents Christ as the perfect Man and also tells us Christians how we should believe so that our human behaviour and deeds can please God and further His Kingdom on earth.
It was only because Christ was in His church and controlling them, that they were able to produce the Book of Acts.
The four Gospels are thus the heart of the Bible as our eternal life depends on the life and sacrifice of Jesus.
Matthew presents Christ as King since the lion is the king of the beasts. Mark shows Him as the tireless Servant or ox. Luke introduces Him as the perfect Man. John states that Jesus is God in a human body.
His cleansing Blood is critical as it pumps eternal life through the believers in the Book of Acts. This set the standard for how God wants His church to operate.
The four Gospels tell us how to protect our experience with God so that we remain led by the Holy Spirit and not ruled and directed by human leaders. Satan wants human leadership to replace the leading of the Holy Spirit that guides us to obey the written Word of God, the Bible.
Only the Blood of Jesus could pump eternal life through the believers of the seven different ages and circumstances that the church would pass through during the 2 000 years of its history.
This third beast representing Luke's Gospel must then also describe the main attributes of the Holy Spirit operating in God’s church during the Reformation Ages starting in 1517. God's Spirit blessed and used the human wisdom and scholarship of Martin Luther in Germany to restore that "the just must live by faith". Christians had to repent and get saved rather than trusting in ancient relics and indulgences. Then God began to further restore the church back to the New Testament by using the human wisdom and scholarship of John Wesley in England as he revealed the truths of holiness, brotherly love, and evangelical outreach. This laid the foundation for the great missionary age that was arguably the greatest age of human endeavour in the service of God, since the early church. That ended about 1906 when the Pentecostal revival of the Holy Ghost baptism began in California in America.
This age saw human wisdom and scholarship blessed by God's anointing so that they produced the most accurate translation of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts, the King James Bible of 1611.
This is the only Bible with no copyright. Thus it is the Word of God. All other Bibles have a copyright to protect the author's viewpoints and financial income. Thus they are the words of man.
Referring to "a face as a man" draws attention to the "head".
This headship of the church is one of the most fundamental problems in the church world.
The King James Bible is the true Word of God and is thus the head and only source of true Christian doctrine. These are the words that are spoken from the mouth of God.
The King James Bible is "Thus saith the Lord".
The wise virgins with their lamps lit shine that light onto the King James Bible in order to illuminate the true Word, Who is Jesus Christ. They only believe what the Bible says.
The alternative is that you have to make an arbitrary choice of one or more versions from the hundreds of Bible versions that are available, all of which differ from each other in addition to all the corrected upgrades that keep appearing. This is a recipe for confusion.
In true Christianity, only Bible verses are believed to be the basis of doctrine because this alone establishes Jesus Christ as being Head of the church. (Believing some other idea or opinion makes some other person your head or my head.) The believers who only trust the written Bible, only call themselves Christians.
They want no other name because a wife only takes on the name of her husband.
EPHESIANS 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
EPHESIANS 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
The first serious mistake made by those brave reformers who opposed the Roman Catholic church was to adopt the Roman Catholic church system of having a man at the head of the church. This is unscriptural and produces denominational "churchianity".
Following a human head as pastor, spelled disaster. Since the Reformation, 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational churches have emerged. Human leaders have developed endless variations of doctrinal error. The Word of God alone is what we should follow.
In denominational "churchianity" some man (pastor, priest, bishop, pope etc) is the head of the church and the members call themselves by the name of their church movement or church leader - Lutheran, Methodist, Wesleyan, Baptist, Pentecostal, Message believer, Branhamite etc.
Trying to prevent the church from going down this multi-headed denominational path, Luke describes Jesus as the ideal Man that we should follow.
He, and He alone, is fit to be Head of the church as Jesus alone is the visible face of God.
This is similar to the American president being the face of the American nation.
So Luke reveals key points that we humans must remember as we endeavour to follow our ideal human role model, Jesus Christ. He is God in human flesh.
Luke focuses on the humanity of Christ, the human Man.
John’s Gospel will focus on the God Who dwelt in the human body of Christ.
LUKE 1:76 And thou, child, (John the Baptist) shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
Jesus is the face of God. So Luke also introduces Jesus as a Man.
Luke’s banner is thus the face of a Man. The face of Jesus Christ. He is the human face of God.
Thus Jesus alone is the Head of the church. All our so-called church leaders can at best be parts of the body of Christ. He is the Head, we are the body. All the parts of the body are controlled by the head.
Jesus is thus a fellow human being. This means that God came down to our level to show us how to think and live. As human beings, we must not look to our church leaders (who are flawed vessels) but to Jesus Christ as being our supreme example of what a human being should be like.
Luke was a doctor.
COLOSSIANS 4:14 Luke, the beloved physician,
A doctor is the best person to describe a man. Luke favours the Gentiles because the church is the body of Christ Who alone is the Head of the church. The bulk of the church body over seven church ages was and is made up of Gentiles.
So God chose Luke who was very sympathetic towards the Gentiles to write for the Gentile church. Luke also wrote the Book of Acts. The last portion of the Book of Acts is dominated by Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, as he sets up the foundation of the Gentile church during his three missionary journeys.
Luke is the longest Book of the New Testament which reflects the long time, almost 2 000 years, that will be covered by the seven Gentile church ages.
GALATIANS 2:8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision [ the Jews ], the same was mighty in me [ Paul ] toward the Gentiles:)
Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. And Luke was his faithful companion as they travelled amongst the Gentiles. So Luke always felt a strong kindred spirit towards the Gentiles.
II TIMOTHY 4:11 Only Luke is with me.
Paul here comments on Luke’s faithfulness to the Gentile missionary work.
Dealing with Christ as a Man, Luke emphasizes the birth of both John and Jesus. Every man starts as a baby. So Luke, as a doctor, records the conception and pregnancy details.
Enemies of the Gospel would cut short the lives of John, Jesus and many of the early church.
Most men who die before old age live through two basic phases, first as a child and then as a father.
The disciples also grew through these two phases. As young men, they were the children of their Jewish fathers who kept the law. As children they needed to be trained by Jesus. Then, after Jesus left, the disciples grew older and became the fathers of the early church who knew them as apostles.
LUKE 1:17 And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him (Jesus Christ) in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
This statement was to show how John the Baptist was referred to in a prophecy made by Malachi.
The “hearts” of the fathers meant that the Jews had broken up into about five different denominations. The two main religious groups were the Pharisees who controlled the synagogues, and the Sadducees who ran the Temple. There were also Herodians (who were politically involved with king Herod), Zealots (who fanatical in their desire to kill enemies), and Essenes who separated themselves into the wilderness as indicated by the seven Qumran Old Testament scrolls that were found in caves near the Dead Sea between late 1946 and early 1947. Between 1949 and 1956 another 930 scrolls were found in the Qumran area, mainly fragmented, but 12 were in a state of good preservation. This was brilliant archaeological proof of how valid the Old Testament is as an accurate history of the Jews.
This reminds us of the seven baskets of fragments and the 12 baskets of fragments that were left over when Jesus miraculously fed the 5 000 men and the 4 000 men.
In the Jewish Temple was the 7-branched candlestick and the 12 loaves of shewbread that represented the seven church ages of the New Testament and the 12 tribes of Israel from the Old Testament. The Jews and the church are God’s main focus on planet Earth.
1947 was also a key year when the United Nations voted by a majority of about 2 votes to give the Jews a homeland in Israel. Russia, under the Jew-hating Stalin, suddenly backed the Jews for about 18 months.
In 1948 Israel declared itself a nation for the first time since it had been destroyed by Rome in 135 AD. The Arabs immediately attacked Israel.
By 1949 they had beaten the five Arab armies that were backed by seven Arab states to establish their homeland in Israel.
In 1956 they again beat Egypt in another war in the Sinai, and then smashed the Arabs in the 1967 six day war.
God was obviously turning back to Israel. The Qumran scrolls were found just when Israel was being re-established as a nation after about 1800 years.
In 1946 an angel appeared to William Branham in America, which launched his spectacular ministry in the supernatural gifts of healing and discernment, and this ignited a huge revival amongst the Pentecostals during the 1950s and the 1960s. During the 1960’s there were times when the Oral Roberts Pentecostal Association was collecting one quarter of the tithes money that was collected in the free (non-communistic) world.
God gave the supernatural a huge boost in the Pentecostal churches during these days.
The non-Pentecostal churches also made dramatic successes in the realm of evangelism during this period with Billy Graham, one of the greatest evangelists, setting the pace.
So God was reviving the supernatural gifts with the Pentecostal revival and the remarkable Bible teachings of William Branham in America. At the same time God was re-establishing Israel as a nation with its six-pointed star of David being the oldest national flag in the world.
But later in the 1950s, American president Eisenhower’s customary good sense failed him, and he mistakenly sent about 700 military advisers to South Vietnam to oppose the communists in North Vietnam rather than having a free election for all of Vietnam to vote on the issue of unity. Then President Kennedy, a Catholic, amplified Eisenhower’s error by sending 15 000 more advisers to South Vietnam in the early 1960’s to back the dictatorial and corrupt Catholic president Diem of South Vietnam. But when religion and politics combine it produces a macabre dance-of-death as good intentions produce the unintended effect of death and destruction. Things then got worse when president Johnson made the huge mistake of escalating this war dramatically in 1965 and historians claim that the next 15 years were the years when America tried to commit suicide. The American military had fought bravely and never lost a battle, but these three presidents produced a war policy that was indecisive and muddled, so that they badly compromised the war with increasingly irresolute decisions.
President Nixon skillfully disengaged America from Vietnam and by 1980 America began to recover, but the Pentecostal churches no longer seemed to have the spiritual impact that they had twenty years previously. Meanwhile the church world continued to splinter under equally muddled religious leaders until by 2016 there were about 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational church systems. Bible-based knowledge of true Christianity was being replaced by smugly optimistic "churchianity" attitudes. Finding safety in a church system has become the central mirage in our modern age of religious delusion. Self satisfied professions of church traditions and the doctrines of men replaced “believing in the written Word of God”. Jesus was being pushed out of our churches. He stands outside the door of the church and knocks. The people in the churches are more concerned about being recognized and accepted by the elevated church leaders.
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
In John the Baptist’s day the Jewish religion had also fragmented, but not as badly as today’s church world. Luke’s use of the plural “hearts” shows all these divisions that existed amongst the Jewish fathers, which were the challenges that John had to contend with.
LUKE 1:17 And he (John the Baptist) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
All of these groups had their own interpretation of the Law of Moses. Each group was convinced that they were right, but they all were wrong.
Each religious group had such an exalted opinion of themselves that John could only resolve the issue by calling them all snakes or serpent seed. He thus condemned the whole multitude of Jews who came to hear him preach, men and women.
LUKE 3:7 Then said he (John the Baptist) to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
A snake has a forked tongue. One part is truth and the other part is a lie. The churches today preach partly the truth (Jesus died for our sins) and partly a lie. (For example, Jesus was born on 25 December, and somehow there was a decorated tree connected with the stable. Both these ideas are completely unscriptural. - The wise men went into a house and saw a young child. They were not visiting the Baby in a stable. So what else have our churches got wrong? But hardly anyone dares oppose the unscriptural word “Christmas” or “Christ’s mass” as the Catholics first called it around 350 AD, because then you run foul of big business as well as the churches.)
MATTHEW 2:11 And when they (the wise men) were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
(There is no mention of Joseph. The wise men were spiritual men. God, their spiritual Father, had guided them at night for two years by His Holy Spirit in the form of a Star, which no-one but the wise men saw. Thus God made sure that the man Joseph who was considered to be the human “father” of Jesus was not present when these Spirit-led men arrived to worship their heavenly Father in the form of a Child.)
ISAIAH 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
These men were not wise because they were learned. They were wise because they were seeking to find Jesus. Are you wise?
There is a thought that scares me - John called the multitude of the different denominational Jews “vipers or poisonous snakes”. If John came back in our day, then it seems that he would simply condemn all our different church groups and tell us all to be “zealous to repent”. After all, each of our different church groups is convinced that they are right. But it is also obvious, that with so many differences, all the church groups cannot be right. The scary thought is that all our church groups could be wrong. Remember, there were no groups that were right in John’s day.
MALACHI 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Elijah the prophet was promised by Malachi (some 400 years before) to prepare the people for the Lord’s first Coming. The “heart” of the fathers is singular and as such speaks of the success of John the Baptist’s ministry because all the Jews that he turned to Jesus believed that only Jesus was the Head of the church. All these older Jews, once they were turned, then they served Jesus alone with one united heart. They left the various denominational Jewish groupings of Pharisees, Sadducees, etc and simply became Christians who believed and followed the New Testament Bible teachings.
Luke, as a doctor, accurately diagnoses that John the Baptist only fulfills the first half of the prophecy of Malachi. John the Baptist told the Jewish fathers who thought that they were keeping the Law that they were actually disobedient if they rejected their Messiah by not turning to their children, the younger generation of Jesus and His disciples. These children had both the wisdom and the truth of what was just in the eyes of God.
Then these disciples would grow up and become the apostolic fathers of the early church and write the New Testament.
The church would later fall away from the New Testament beliefs in the Dark Ages and then have to be restored back over many centuries, starting with the great reformer Martin Luther in 1517, and moving on to the incredibly effective evangelist John Wesley who laid the foundation for the great missionary age of the 1800s. After that the great Pentecostal revival started in Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement. Different groups operated under the freedom of the Holy Spirit. It began with a meeting on April 9, 1906, and continued until roughly 1915. By 1917 this Pentecostal movement had divided up into official man-made denominations under human leadership and lost its initial impact. In that year Communism launched its revolt in Russia under Lenin and God began to raise up this evil system that will one day punish the West for rejecting God’s leadership by His Spirit and His Word and replacing it with human leadership and man-made doctrines. In the same way God had raised up Babylon to punish the Jews in 606 BC for not staying with His written Word. Then in 1919 - 1920 God sent a plague of Spanish Flu that Bill Gates claims killed 65 million people over and above the 20 million who died in the first World War from 1914 - 1918. Mankind paid heavily for rejecting the leadership of the Holy Spirit in favour of human church leadership.
MALACHI 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Then another Elijah ministry is prophesied for the end time, just before the great Tribulation, when we as 'young children', born some 1900 years after the early disciples or apostles, will be turned back to the New Testament teachings of these apostolic fathers. To emphasize this end time ministry, a curse will strike the earth to preview the greater curse that strikes in the great Tribulation. A curse is something that lingers on and does not quickly disappear. This curse was the atom bombs that fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 with their lingering radioactivity that did much damage long after the initial explosions. That was a warning to us that we should be on the lookout for a prophet, like John the Baptist, who could prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus by taking us back to the original apostolic teachings of the New Testament. If we do not turn back to the New Testament beliefs of the apostolic fathers, then we are going be present to experience many Russian nuclear bombs are going to fall in the great Tribulation. This is the ultimate fate of America for her rejection of this end time prophet. Watch Russia, the king of the north.
Children are endlessly curious and ask questions. Their parents get irritated because they do not know the answers and are too lazy to find out themselves, so they stifle the curiosity of the children by shrugging it off as unimportant. Eventually the children lose interest.
Christians today no longer are curious about the Bible. Ask them why Jesus wrote with His finger in the dust when asked to stone a woman and they are not interested. They do not know themselves and do not want to find out. They behave just like typical parents. Then they say it is not important.
Thus today's Christians are not the curious children that will turn back to the apostolic fathers who wrote the New Testament.
When asked a question that your church group cannot answer, you need to be curious and begin to investigate outside your church. Once you step outside your church, you have a chance of finding Jesus, the true Word, because He stands outside the church door.
Luke, as a doctor, records the details the preganancy of Mary and Elizabeth from the beginning.
Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and conceived Jesus when Elizabeth was six months pregnant with John.
LUKE 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
LUKE 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Mary then went to visit and stay with Elizabeth. At six months, the foetus is surrounded by a protective layer of water. So Mary brought the Word of God (Jesus) to the prophet of God, John, when he was in the waters of his mother’s womb.
LUKE 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luke, emphasizing Jesus as a Man, stresses how God will deal with men.
God exalts the unimportant men and puts down the important men.
So God deals with mankind in a different way to what we expect.
Rich men have money and can buy comfort on planet Earth but find spiritual emptiness and thus very little accommodation in Heaven. God is more inclined to send them away than to invite them into Heaven.
LUKE 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
John could only be born when the waters of the womb broke. Then he would no longer be in the water. So the Word left him as Mary departed. Some thirty years later the prophet John was back in the waters. This time he was in the waters of Jordan, baptizing the people. Then once again Jesus came to him. The Word of God always comes to a prophet who is in the water. This symbolizes that a true prophet stays in the water of the Word.
EPHESIANS 5:26 That he (Christ) might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
A prophet’s ministry is to teach us the Word of God. Believing and obeying the written Word enables us to clean up our act.
When Mary got back to Joseph so that she could marry him, she was three months pregnant.
Thus it was obvious to everyone that Joseph was not the father of Jesus. Thus Mary had to live with the accusation that she had an illegitimate child. Both Jesus and Mary had to endure this reproach.
When arguing with Jesus, the Jews said that they were not illegitimate.
JOHN 8:41 ….Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.
By saying this they were implying that He was illegitimate.
So Luke makes it clear that if a man believes, he lays himself open to false accusations and slander. This is one of the hazards of Christianity.
Then John the Baptist was born.
LUKE 1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
As a doctor Luke noted the medical detail of circumcision. The Jews then wanted to call him Zacharias (the name of his father) as if he would follow in his father’s footsteps and be a priest. But that was not God’s will. The baby was going to become a young man who would radically disagree with the Jewish fathers of his father's generation. He would turn that older generation of fathers to the younger generation of their children. Thus the baby needed a different name.
So Luke emphasizes that if a man wants to serve God he must be prepared to disagree with his parents if they do not follow Scripture. Truth is more important than family.
LUKE 14:26 (Jesus said) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
LUKE 1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
John the Baptist needed to know the truth so he had to grow up in the desert far removed from the religious leaders of his day. They could only guide him into error. He had to stay separated from them.
John did not join any one of the religious denominations or groups of his day. That is why God could trust him.
But Jewish children, when they grew up, could only enter the priesthood, or the service of the Lord, at the age of thirty.
NUMBERS 4:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers,
:3 From thirty years old and upward even until fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the tabernacle of the congregation.
The priesthood was taken from the tribe of Levi. They served God for twenty years, from the age of thirty to fifty. So, technically, John the Baptist and Jesus had to get to the age of thirty before commencing their ministries. John was six months older than Jesus. When Jesus got to thirty, John had been preaching for six months.
LUKE 3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized,
LUKE 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,
John the Baptist, when he got to thirty, could begin the baptism of repentance to make the Jews aware that the official Temple priesthood was now far off into error. The Jews had to realize that their religious leaders were totally incapable of preparing them for the First Coming of Christ. The Jews belonged to their synagogues or the Temple, and thought they were safe. That was a total delusion. They rejected Jesus, and more than a million Jews died when the Roman army under Titus destroyed the Temple in AD 70.
The written Word of God has been rejected by our churches because Jesus stands outside the church door. We think we are safe in our different church huddles and their conflicting beliefs just because we are saved. That delusion will be shattered when the great Tribulation strikes like a spiritual tsunami or tidal wave.
(That is why another John the Baptist is needed in the last church age as the church leaders have pushed the Word out of the church. The pastor claims to be the head of the church. No body can have two heads, so there is no room for Jesus. Thus our church leaders cannot prepare us for the Second Coming of Christ. Today church members base their beliefs on human opinions and traditions, and dread being asked to prove their beliefs by connecting just Scriptures together. All they can do is frantically quote what their leader says, or what they think he said.)
A hard fact for the Jews was that the young generation of John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples were actually serving God despite being outside the official religious system. They did not belong to any of the Jewish denominations of that day. Only those who were outside the religious groups had the truth.
[We have the same problem today. God describes our official churches as blind and says that He stands outside the church of the Laodiceans (which means “people’s rights”), which is the last church age.]
REVELATION 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write;
:17 and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
There is an illusion of safety in numbers. But the church leaders do not know what God is doing today as they are all going in different directions, just like blind men groping in the dark.
MATTHEW 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
Be careful. In today’s world the “ditch” represents the great Tribulation. A grim irony for saved Christians who think they are going up to the Wedding Feast and will find themselves going down to an awful death in the great Tribulation.
“How did we all get it so wrong?” they will cry, just like the radio and TV announcers did after Trump’s victory in the 2016 American presidential election.
The Bible calls our churches blind, and we claim that we can see. Time will tell who is right. And, sadly, it will not be us.