Here is the Link for Today’s Reading: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=323064845
Matthew’s Gospel starts with a similar (although not exactly the same) genealogy. (look at it here) The genealogy only exists in Luke and Matthew’s gospels. It echoes back to Genesis, and the extended genealogies that exist there (look at Genesis 5 for an example). Whereas Matthew’s gospel account includes a few women in the genealogy, Luke only includes men. Luke also does not appear to be as concerned with the equal numbering of generations (14 between important folks) as Matthew is. It appears Luke includes the Genealogy for accuracy’s sake. I wish I knew more about the use of Genealogies outside of the Bible, particularly if they would have been indicative of something in either Greek or Roman culture, but I do not at this time have any information on any of that.
- Why include the Genealogy in the first place? What do you think Luke was trying to show?
- Why is the Genealogy different than Matthew’s? Again, why might Luke make the adjustments?
- Why place the Genealogy here, following the Baptism of Jesus? Compared to Matthew’s placement as the very first thing, what might Luke being trying to show? Why create the break in the narrative in the first place?
The Temptation 4:1-13
It seems as though before Jesus can begin his ministry, the first thing that occurs is the temptation. As Luke sets it up, it occurs immediately following his baptism by John, before he can return to Galilee. I also like to remind folks when talking about the temptation, that being in the wilderness meant that you could only survive though the aid of God. The wilderness was not a place where one could survive on their own.
So why the temptation before any ministry happens. Luke seems to imply that up until the moment of baptism, Jesus was just doing the carpenter thing, learning, maybe engaging in conversation at the synagogue once in a while, but that he hasn’t really engaged in any sort of ministry as of yet, that it is the moment of Baptism that starts everything off, but why throw the temptation at him right away? I certainly don’t know the answer to that, but its interesting to say the least. Does it mean that whenever someone starts onto the pathways of Christ, they should expect some level of temptation? Or is it meant to simply show that Jesus was something new now, something that couldn’t be tempted by power and greed? Or is it just meant to be a coaching tool for disciples of Christ, that there will be moments of doubt and challenge ahead? Things to think about as we move forward for sure.
- Have you ever felt temptation in the way Jesus did, as he had lived for 40 days in the desert with no food? In other words have you felt temptation at times of extreme weakness?
- Answering only to your self, were you able to fight the temptation, or were you overtaken? If you fell into temptation, how have you returned/recovered from it? What advice might you offer others in the face of temptation, or in the face of recovery?
- Why do you think the story of the temptation is included by Luke as the first thing that happens to Christ following his baptism and official start to his ministry?