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Who Made Jesus the Messiah?

Posted on May 1, 2017

God Saves Gentiles! Luke Has Good News!

A study of the NT book of Luke

by Pastor Frank Rice

Luke 3:21-38


Who made you the boss of me?” That sounds like two little kids arguing on the playground about authorization! They most likely do not use that term, but that’s what it’s all about. In order to tell someone what they must do, one must be duly authorized and his credentials authenticated. Luke’sconcernisn’t “who made Jesus Messiah?” It’s authenticating His claimso that Israel and the world would trust Him as Messiah!


I. Jesus Receives Authentication By Revelation (Vv. 21-23a)!

  • The authentication of Jesus was preceded by baptism (v. 21a).

    1. Those who had responded positively to the message of John the Baptist had been baptized.

    2. They had not only declared their faith publicly, but responded to the challenge to demonstrate it practically.

    3. Then Jesus stepped down into the same waters and allowed His cousin to baptize Him.

    4. In doing so He affirmed John’s message, He identified with those He came to save, and He followed God’s game plan.

  • The authentication of Jesus was an observable demonstration of the Father’s approval (vv. 21b-22).

    1. While Jesus prayed, the heaven (singular) was opened. In some way this was a discernible phenomenon!

    2. While Jesus prayed, the Holy Spirit gently descended upon Him in some perceptible form! Like means like!

    3. While Jesus prayed, the Father spoke audibly to Him. There were witnesses.

      1. He identified Jesus the beloved Son as His very own.

      2. He expressed His approval of Jesus the Son. “This heavenly testimony echoes two Old Testament texts and joins them together (Ps 2:7; Isa 42:1)... They present the divine perspective that Jesus is the Servant-Messiah.” (Garland)


The endorsement is marked by two elements:the divine word from heaven andthe anointingof the Spirit… these signs mark Jesus as the agent through whom God will work.” (Bock)


  • The authentication of Jesus occurs in His thirtieth year (v. 23a). This may be of some significance,.. or not.

    1. It was the age that OT priests began their active ministry.

    2. It was the age at which Joseph was elevated in Egypt.

    3. It was the age of Ezekiel when he began his ministry and when David he began his reign as king of Israel.


II. Jesus Receives Authentication By His Genealogy (Vv. 23b-38)!


  • Luke the historian is obliged to include, of all things, a long genealogy, a list of seventy-seven men, eleven groups of seven!

    1. Most of these names are unfamiliar and unmentioned in the rest of scripture! (Not tomention unpronounceable!)

    2. Some names are identifiable only to an avid Bible reader!

    3. Others can be recognized by most Sunday school students.

      Genealogies serve as indicators of (inherited) status; as such, it is commonly recognizedthat they might be subject to ‘genealogical amnesia’ (where insignificant or problematic ancestors are suppressed) and idealism (where lists are adjusted to fulfill new social requirements). As a literary form, genealogies are concerned as much with theological and apologetic issues as with historical; in them resides remarkable social power.” (Green)

  • This list is obviously imperative for Luke’s purpose.

    1. It demonstrates that, “ Salvation is the product of God’s design and the object of His careful planning.” (Bock)

    2. It demonstrates the validity of Jesus’ qualification and claim to be Israel’s Messiah. (Hehad to have the right ancestry.)

    3. It demonstrates Jesus’ intimate connection to mankind. “Jesus is the fulfillment not onlyof Jewish hopes and aspirations but of the hopes of the entire world.” (Stein)

    4. It displays a different format than Matthew; the order is reversed and Luke’s goes all the way back from Abraham to Adam.


  • So, do you recognize any of those listed in His genealogy?

    1. His “father” Joseph is fairly familiar (v. 23b). [Many folksmistakenly assumedhe was Jesus’ biological father.]The genealogical line is Joseph’s, despite the virgin birth. It is merely a legal line.” (Bock)

    2. There are a number of familiar names on the list but they are not who you may think theyare!

    3. There’s Nathan (v. 31)! But it is not the prophet.

    4. There’s David in the same verse (v. 31), linking Jesus to the Davidic covenant (2 Sam 7). This is absolutely essential!

    5. The names of Jesse, Obed, and Boaz should strike a familiar and heart-warming chord (v. 32).

    6. The names of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham are readily recognizable (v. 34)! They typically appear in reverse order. These are also absolutely essential to fulfill covenant promises!

    7. There are two more familiar names; Noah and his son Shem (v. 36). (Thisshould belike recognizing old friends in pictures!)

    8. There is a pair of names we cannot forget (v. 37); the oldest man in the Bible and theman who walked with God and…

    9. There are two more names that go way back almost to the beginning of time; Seth and his father Adam (v. 38). The story of Jesus goes all the way back to Adam as Jesus is connected to the whole human race.

      The reference to Adam as son of God presents the divine origin of the human race andindicates Jesus’ solidarity with all humanity.” (Green)

    10. And the Father of all is the God of creation and salvation.


We close with two encouraging truths;

One knows what God is doing only when one looks back and sees what God has done .”


Jesus’ genealogy ties all humankind into one unit. Their fate is wrapped up in JesusIn Him, the entire hope of the OT is inseparably and eternally bound. In Him, as well,the fate of all divinely created humans is bound together.”(Bock)