Son of God

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work. He was the son (as was thought) of Joseph son of Heli, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Melchi, son of Jannai, son of Joseph, son of Mattathias, son of Amos, son of Nahum, son of Esli, son of Naggai, son of Maath, son of Mattathias, son of Semein, son of Josech, son of Joda, son of Joanan, son of Rhesa, son of Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, son of Neri, son of Melchi, son of Addi, son of Cosam, son of Elmadam, son of Er, son of Joshua, son of Eliezer, son of Jorim, son of Matthat, son of Levi, son of Simeon, son of Judah, son of Joseph, son of Jonam, son of Eliakim, son of Melea, son of Menna, son of Mattatha, son of Nathan, son of David,  son of Jesse, son of Obed, son of Boaz, son of Sala, son of Nahshon, son of Amminadab, son of Admin, son of Arni, son of Hezron, son of Perez, son of Judah, son of Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham, son of Terah, son of Nahor, son of Serug, son of Reu, son of Peleg, son of Eber, son of Shelah, son of Cainan, son of Arphaxad, son of Shem, son of Noah, son of Lamech, son of Methuselah, son of Enoch, son of Jared, son of Mahalaleel, son of Cainan, son of Enos, son of Seth, son of Adam, son of God.

Luke 3:21-38

Considering that Luke had so much to say about John the Baptist, he has surprisingly little to say about Jesus’s baptism. Perhaps this story wasn’t important to Luke, or maybe he didn’t think baptism itself was all that important. I don’t know.

Often when I read about Jesus’s baptism I wonder if this is the first time He really understood who He was, the Son of God. The story of young Jesus in the Temple kind of makes me feel like Jesus always understood. But then why does God have to say it? It seems to me that perhaps the Holy Spirit descending on Him might have been the beginning of His super close relationship with God. It says He was thirty when He began His work, but now how old He was when He was baptized. Before I had always assumed that Jesus went straight from His baptism to the wilderness to be tempted. But now I wonder if many years didn’t pass…

I did some brief internet research, and there seem to be two camps. The first camp says, “Jesus was fully God, which means he was all-knowing from the moment of His birth.” The other camp says, “Since Jesus was fully human, He would have had to grow in growth and knowledge of who He was, just as His followers did.” Neither group had anything special to say about His baptism, and tended to reference other stories (especially the one of boy Jesus in the Temple). So, I guess the answer is we’ll find out when we get to Heaven!

Jesus’s ancestry serves essentially the same purpose as it did at the beginning of Matthew. By proving He is directly descended from David, Luke shows us that the Jewish throne would have been Jesus’s by birthright. Also, the Messiah was expected to come from the house of David. But it also adds a dual meaning to the phrase “Son of God.” Luke has already established that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and God Himself confirms this at Jesus’s baptism. But He is also the Son of God in the same way that each of us is. God created Him (and us!) when He created Adam. In this way, God is everyone’s Father.

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