Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Vision (10/25/12): Why does Luke record the genealogy of Jesus?

Image:  We made use of our new pulpit and communion table last Lord's Day at CRBC.
Which was the son of Enosh, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God (Luke 3:38).

Note:  Here are some of my notes from the closing reflections in last Sunday’s sermon on The Roots of the Messiah (Luke 3:23-38).  I look forward to continuing our journey through Luke’s Gospel this coming Sunday.

Why does Luke, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, record the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38)?  There are at least two important spiritual points that are being made:  (1) the universal scope of God’s mission; and (2) the sovereign plan of God.

The universal scope of God’s mission

Again, nothing in Scripture is accidental or coincidental.  I think there is significance first in where Luke traces the line of Jesus.  He goes back to Adam (Luke 3:38).  Matthew traces his roots back to Father Abraham (Matthew 1:1).  But Luke goes all the way back to the  Garden.

One of the key things this does is bring emphasis to the universal scope of the gospel.  It is not universalism (all men will be saved), but it does have a universal scope (all sorts of men will be saved).  In Athens, Paul will preach to the pagans and say that the God of the Bible “hath made of one blood all nations of men” adding “That they should seek the Lord” (Acts 17:26-27).  In tracing the line of Jesus back to Adam (and then, even to God himself), Luke is reminding us that in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek., bond nor free, male nor female (see Galatians 3:28).  What does the angel tell the shepherds on the night of Christ’s birth?  “Fear not:  for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people” (Luke 2:10).  There is a wideness in God’s mercy that is evident at the very beginning of Jesus’ life and ministry!

The Sovereign Plan of God

We are called also in this text to wonder at the wisdom of the sovereign plan of God and his power to carry it out.  In generation after generation, God was at work, setting up the intricate set of connections that would lead to the arrival of his Messiah.  It could have been broken at any one of the 70 plus points along the way, but God did not let that happen.  His plans cannot be shaken and his purposes cannot be thwarted.  If that was true of the sending of his Son as Redeemer it will also be true of the sending of his Son as Judge.  It is also true of all the promises he makes to his disciples.  When we do not understand with certainty all that happens around us, we can still trust the Architect of history to do all things well.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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