PO@Wait for the Messiah to comeLuke 3:1-14
T As a witness of the center of time
@It seems that Luke formed a frame of this Gospel until Chapter 2. The story concerning John the Baptist birth and his parents / Zacharias and Elisabeth, an angel of the Lord who announced the Jesus birth and Mary, the shepherds who rushed at the time of Jesus birth, and Simeon and Anna in the shrine; the events of the people who appeared in this prehistory were various, but all of them showed Jesus expected as the Messiah. And Luke assumed that their testimony was right and told that Jesus was the real Messiah. However, it seems his eyes turn to Jesus, because He stands as the Messiah by throwing away His glory, above all. It will be the center point of Luke who believed Jesus in the times when he can not meet Jesus. This Gospel is developed mainly on testimony of the witnesses who met Jesus and heard His story and watched what Jesus did directly; but it seems that Luke felt warmth of Jesus through their witness. And such warmth seems to become the frame of this Gospel.
@Now, it is the opening of the main subject. First, John the Baptist who came of age appears. It begins that "the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness." (2). Luke sets it in detailed time first; but this will be setting "this is a fact" by Luke, and it seems that he is really a scientist (a doctor). There is it, "in the fifteenth year of the region of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas" (2). I avoid being small, but, from these descriptions, it is quite thought that it is the AD26 age time. Luke insists that this was a fact as a historical event; however his interest is in that "(at the time), the word of God came to John" than it. It is the claim of Luke and should be said the Luke theology; the word of God was realized in the history of our time through a person called John. There is a book called "the center of time" where a theologian called German Conzelmann discussed Luke theology, and Luke testifies that Jesus is right the center of the age of us. The meaning of it will be gradually developed in this Gospel, but John appeared as the witness.
U Faith of the repentance
@"And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;" (3) John was called "John the Baptist" from here. It is said this Baptism was "baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins"; but it is not the meaning that various kinds of Baptism was there; and the people heard his message and received Baptism from him, but it was the message pressed them for "repentance for the forgiveness of sins". And it seems it is center part of John. I decide to watch about "Baptism" later; but now, because the part of the message is taken up here, I want to see it from here.
@"You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bring forth fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. And also the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire." (7-9) Matthew recorded the same message, too; but it was said at the time "when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism,". Pharisee and the Sadducee (one sect of the Judaism) of the Jewish leader, they were preying on the people, but, they thought that they were chosen people and the judgment of God would not come to themselves on Dies Irae. They say that they are the people who should be saved. When we think so, we indeed can nod the message of John. However, Luke has deleted "Pharisee and Sadducee" here. Luke considers it is the same as Pharisees that people persist in chosen people awareness. "God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham"; this means that people of God are woken up from foreigners, and it may show the time of Jesus. Anyone must repent in front of God; so Luke has taken away "the frame" from the message of John. It is the Gospel of Jesus.
V Wait for the Messiah to come
@To the people questioning that "Then what shall we do?", John answered, "Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise." (11), "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to" (13), and "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages." (14). The social ethics of then would be in such a mess. It was the message which was continued telling by Isaiah / prophets. John succeeded to such messages, too. It may be said that John belongs to the genealogy of the prophet who played an active part in the Old Testament.
@By the way, it is Baptism, but this is translated as a ceremony to wash in japanese; and it is the important sacrament of the modern church with Communion service. Originally because this is to dip it into the water, you had better translate it as "baptism by immersion", but it will not need to be concerned so much. Because there is it, "he(John) came into all the district around the Jordan", he may have been concerned with baptism by immersion in fact.
@It may be said that this is a ceremony becoming the pupil. The reference of that is not directly in the Old Testament; but there are several places at 2 Kings 5:14, Leviticus 15:5 etc., and Isaiah 1:16 etc. In addition, it may count as a precedent that a vert of the Judaism regarded Baptism as conversion courtesy with a circumcision. It may be said that John has been brought up in the Old Testament and tradition of the Judaism. It is said, "he lived in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel." (1:80); but "the desert" means that he belonged to the school Qumran religious community of the Judaism which sent hermitry in the bank of Dead Sea. From that ruins mass Bible manuscript to be called Dead Sea Scrolls was discovered ,and it was clarified that Qumran religious community held an excellent library. Surely John would read the Old Testament in that library, too, and would learn various tradition of the Judaism. However, there was not John only in the tradition. John left there since he was called by God as a prophet, and began to step as the prophet who showed the new times. The Baptism would be an index to show the new times. However, John was not going to make people his pupils or new members of the Qumran religious community. He is going to invite people as "new people of God" more purely. The new people are "the people who repented their crime and were permitted", and he is going to take charge of a part of the "repentance".
@Therefore Luke gave words of Isaiah to here. "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough roads smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation." (4-6, Isaiah 40:3-5)@John makes smooth the rough roads of our heart. Because Messiah Jesus passes there. Therefore, let's make straight our heart, and wait for Him to come.@