June - Reading 9

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Jun 9, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    Tonight we witness in 1Kings the fast downward spiral of Jeroboam's rule. The incident in the temple and the events that occur because of it show a king who has lost all sight of the One true God. The incident involving the "man of God" shows us that God had rejected Jeroboam and the lies of the old prophet further show how corrupt and unGodly this regiem was. In chapter 14 Ahijah's prophecy will not be fulfilled for another generation as Jeroboam's son, Nadab, will sit briefly upon the throne.
    I also want to point out that in verse 14:19, the author of 1Kings cites a second reference, assuming that we would have access to it. This is a very common occurence in this particular Book.

    In Luke we come to the account of one of my very favorite Biblical characters. John the Baptist is the great non-conformist, IMO. Luke leaves off this passage with John's arrest to indicate the end of John's ministry. The next immediate passage will be of the beginning of Christ's ministry. The sin spoken of by Herod in verse 3:19 is that Herrod married his sister-in-law, a sin that John pointed out and it eventually would cost him his head.

    Our reading in Ephesians for the last two nights has been about living as Christians and our dealings with our fellow believers. We do not think like the world thinks and we do not treat each other as the world treats its own. Some anger is indeed righteous and justified but we, as Christians, have an obligation to curb our anger and to speak the truth to each other with kindness and compassion.

    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture 9/19/04

    Luke 3

    Having explored the few details we know about the childhood of Jesus, Luke now takes us back to a brief overview of the ministry of John the Baptist. Luke had left John in the dessert in 1:80, growing strong in the Spirit. Now as Luke 3 opens, we find John being called by God to begin his ministry.

    The latter part of the chapter presents us with Jesus' lineage according to Luke. While Matthew's order of placement may seem more logical in a chronological sense, Luke's placement seems to be a deliberate insertion marking the beginning of Christ's ministry and designating Him from John's ministry. There is also a possibility that Luke's genealogy is coming from a new source, as Luke tends to group his source material in blocks.

    Luke 3:1-6 John's Call

    A student of the Scriptures would be quite remiss to overlook the remarkable similarity between Luke 3 and the content of the Old Testament Books of Prophecy. Luke sets John's ministry in the historical setting of political leaders (cf. - Isaiah 1:1; Amos 1:1). We are first told that John's call came during the fifteenth year of the reign of Tibereus Caesar. History teaches us that after the death of Caesar Augustus in 14 AD, Tibereus ascended to the throne as full regent. While we know this historical figure from extra-biblical sources, the denotion of "fifteenth year” is still not conclusive as to an exact date. The date may indicate the years 26 or 27 AD which would have been Tibereus' fifteenth year of after co-reigning with his stepfather, Augustus. It could also mean the fifteenth year of full reign after Augustus' death, making the year 28-29 AD. The exact year is not determinable, but Luke does put us in the ballpark of the beginning of John's ministry.

    Pontius Pilate is another figure that we can verify from secular history as well as archaeological evidence. Pilate was the Roman governor, or more specifically, the prefect of Judea from 26-36 AD. In 1961, archaeologists unearthed a stone step of the amphitheater in Caesarea bearing the inscription "Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.” It is practically undisputed that this refers to the Biblical figure introduced to us in this Passage.

    http://www.bible-history.com/pontius_pilate/pilateArchaeology.htm

    Herod and Philip that we find mentioned in verse 1 are both first generation sons of Herod the Great. Upon his death, jurisdiction was given to his sons: Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip. The unnamed "Herod" in this verse is Herod Antipas whom we know governed the ethnic division of Galilee.

    http://www.anova.org/sev/atlas/htm/102a.htm

    The only mysterious name on the list in verse one is Lysanias. His only mention in presently revealed history is in this verse.

    In verse 2 we see two predominate Jewish religious figures mentioned. The mention of two high priests is also explained from history. Annas was the high priest according to Jewish Law. However, the Roman official, Gratus, had deposed him in 15AD. He was succeeded by his son, Eleazer, his son-in-law, Caiaphas, and later by his other four sons. The Jews, however, continued to recognize Annas as the high priest (John 18:12-14).

    It is against this historical drop that Luke informs us of the call of John the Baptist. Once again the student will notice the similarity between Luke 3:2b and the call of the Old Testament prophets (Joel 1:1; Jonah 1:1). Though the Spirit spoke to people to reveal specific revelations, such as with Zechariah and Anna in chapters 1 and 2, the true prophets had not been with the people of Israel for nearly four centuries. In John, the rebirth of the prophetic office was found.

    The "wilderness" in which John proclaimed his message is not specified nor is it important. Luke tells us that John toured about the Jordan preaching a message: a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. There is little question that the baptism mentioned here is a full immersion as the original Greek conveys. However, many sects of Christendom have failed to recognize that John's baptism did not fulfill repentance, but repentance qualifies baptism. In the phrase "for the forgiveness of sins", the word "for" has a forward-looking significance. In other words, baptism is not "to bring about" forgiveness, but rather is "to move towards" forgiveness. John's message was of the coming of God and the Judgment that would ensue. It was those that repented, literally "reversed their attitude", that could look forward to forgiveness.

    Luke 3:7-14 John's Preaching

    In Matthew we see John preaching towards the Pharisees and Sadducees, but in Luke the message is aimed at the multitudes. The issue that he is addressing is the evil within them that they had not recognized and denounced. They were "flee[ing] from the wrath to come" through religious superficiality and insincere methods. There is no doubt that John did not preach that his baptism was a rite that would cure all ills. Instead he tells his listeners that they must bear "fruits worthy of repentance." The Jews had an attitude that they would be saved through inheritance from the Promise made to Abraham. John makes it clear that lineage was irrelevant as God has the power to make children of Abraham from stones. Their pride and false assumption that they were necessary for God's plan of salvation were in error.

    Those in the crowd who were sincere then asked for guidance. John responds with examples of righteousness in social interaction. The prophets of old had given the same message of helping the needy that John set before the people, condemning those that trampled the poor and ignored the needy (Amos 8:4; Isaiah 58:3, 7).

    John also had those who worked for the government in his audience and they too approached him asking for guidance. Tax collectors (publicans) were social outcasts in Palestinian society, considered to be in the same class as prostitutes and adulterers. In Jewish society they were not allowed to bear witness in court nor enter the synagogues. John did not denounce their occupation but emphatically stressed that they were to not to abuse their office by gouging the people for more than they should pay.

    Soldiers, who by context were Jews in the service of the Romans in some guardian capacity, also approached John. Once again, their occupation is not denounced but the temptation to abuse power is warned against.

    This entire section separates Christianity from the politically revolutionary minded Jews of the first century. Where the zealots and other factions rebelled against the government of Rome, John taught a coexistence with it. Yes the Romans were oppressive, but John spoke of a much bigger issue. Political revolt was a battle that was far beneath him.

    Luke 3:15-17 John and the Coming One

    Just as we speculate that Zechariah may have been praying for the messiah in chapter 1, the Jews were all waiting for deliverance from the tyranny of the Romans. John's fervent preaching and oracles concerning the coming of God ignited a fervor among them that John may be that one. John's answer was equally emphatic. He takes the focus from himself and points to the One who is coming. John says that not only is he not the messiah, but he is not even worthy to untie the sandals of the One. We know from the Jewish Talmud that one of the duties of a slave was to remove his master's footwear. The job was considered so degrading that Jewish slaves were not required to do so for Jewish masters. John considered himself not even worthy to do the most menial tasks for the One he served.

    John's baptism was of water, a preparation and call to repentance. The One to come, however, would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This puzzling phrase has sparked a multitude of interpretations. The grammar allows that "Spirit" and "fire" are part of the same experience. However, fire in Biblical terms is almost always associated with judgment. To substantiate this interpretation we see John go on to say that the Messiah will have his winnowing fork (KJV - fan; archaic) with which He will toss the wheat in the air and the chaff will blow away and be consumed.

    Luke 3:18-20 John's Imprisonment

    Luke's recounting of John's ministry is very abbreviated and he acknowledges that John preached many other exhortations concerning the good news. Luke focuses on John admonition against the coming Judgment and wrath which, for the most part, are hardly "good news." However, that the people had been called to repentance and they now recognized that they had some control over their destiny, the coming Judgment need not be pessimistic but one of hope.

    These verses conclude John's ministry as Luke evidently wished to finish the account of John before beginning the ministry of Christ. His denunciation of Herod Antipas and his marriage to his wife/niece/sister-in-law led to his imprisonment. Like the prophets of old, once again, John did not fear going up against the rulers of his time.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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