11 The way to the cross

Luke 3:15-22
T The one who readys the way of the Lord

 It is a continuance of John. He left the Qumran religious community which did underlife in the bank of Dead Sea, and, around John who stood in the bank of the Jordan as an independent prophet, a lot of people gathered, but he ordered the way of life as the citizen of new God to the people. It may be said genuinely that it was a new stance of the people who are going to meet Jesus. In fact, the teaching of John succeeded the tradition of the prophet who played an active part in the Old Testament which was written down in Isaiah and others. I have touched it last time. The teaching of it would be asked as a fresh thing. Will it not show that there were few people who tell the teaching of the Bible to the people in those days? There is it, "the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias," in Verse 2; but this is not another new teaching besides Old Testament, but it will be that John talked the same thing by Holy Spirit, as the prophets talked hard. However, for the people, it was felt that they have heard words of God for the first time. The people who flocked to take Baptism from John have begun to think about John that he would be Christ of the expectation (the Messiah). It was the times such a person appeared and disappeared many times.

 John said to them. "I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to unite the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (16-17) John testified that he was not the Messiah and the One would come soon. It seems that he was conscious of "the one who ready the way of the Lord" who made prophecy of Isaiah in this sense. Perhaps he would hear an origin of his birth from Zacharias and Elisabeth in detail. You may think that he went to the wilderness to acquire training as a pioneer of the Messiah. Qumran religious community was not the group that we present people thought about it; but it was the place that each person meditated and was going to demand an acquaintance with God. It shared only a life part as a monastery form, and it may be said that the faith of the individual was able to deepen by each prayer and study. The wilderness was the best environment of that purpose. So, it seems that John gradually made awareness as a pioneer of the Messiah clear there.

U As the one who disappears and goes

 The Messiah whom John showed was the One who "will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. And His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.". It seems that this means power and invitation and the judgment that only God is held in. John confesses that "I am not fit untie the thong of His sandals" in front of the One who has own power of God like that. Will John be such worthless? No, he said a decisive difference with Christ and himself, even if John bends the body before the One he can not still less appear. In other words, it will be his confession of faith that Christ is God. John was called as a pioneer of such One.

 "So with many other exhortations also he preached the gospel to the people." (18)  Luke inserted such independent phrase and conveyed activity of John who left from the Qumran religious community and appeared before the Jewish people. Perhaps John would go north of the Jordan and go to Galilee. He made Jordan riverbank the stage of his activity from Dead Sea to the Sea of Galilee, but it seems that it was not for a long period. However, his name reached the ear of king Herod Antipas which ruled the Galilee district. He was suspicious so as called "fox" from Jesus, and was a selfish king. Luke touched the end of the John activity like this. "But when Herod the tetrarch was reproved by him on account of Herodias, his brother's wife, and on account of all the wicked things which Herod had done, he added this also on them all, that he locked John up in prison." (19-20) Herod married an Arab princess at first, but he was in illicit love with wife Herodias of Philippos who was the king of the Galilee northward district, so he was divorced with a princess and had married Herodias. Because John criticized it, so he made Herod angry and closed his life in the palace of Machaerus (9:9, Matthew 14:1-11). He showed Jesus and disappeared.

V The way to the cross

 The article of Luke moves to a Jesus appearance successively. "Now it came about when all the people were baptized, that Jesus also was baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased." (21-22) This article is the shortest in comparison with the same article of the other Gospel. It seems Luke is totally conscious to shorten this. And he omits a name of John from here. Not only it but Luke also inserts his end in here, it is only one part, but the one who do it is only Luke. Furthermore, he only writes down even the last state of John shortly by words of Herod like this, "I myself had John beheaded." (9:9). It is seen as if to say John is already unnecessary, because Jesus appeared, but it will be surely right. The thought of Luke can be heard from here that "The center of time" is Jesus but not John. It is such a thing that John showed Jesus and disappeared, I think. However, John from whom the name was omitted testifies the state of this Baptism of Jesus. The expression, "He was praying", "heaven was opened" and "a voice came out of heaven"; these will be right testimony of the one who was in that spot. It is not internal mystical experiences called the narcisism (of Jesus) which is said in one part. Shall we hear the thing that he looked as testimony of his last and heard?

 In the first, John refused to do Baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:14) with "I have need to be baptized by You." (Matthew 3:14). It seemed that John understood that He was the Messiah who was looked forward to, at this point, but the reason why he baptized Jesus was from His strong desire. Therefore he especially sharpen eyes and an ear carefully, and he would just tell to disciples the matter which happened at that time. This is testimony of John. "The Holy Spirit descended upon Him (Jesus) in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'Thou art My beloved Son, in Thee I am well-pleased.'" This is not respectiveness, and it seems that it will be same one. John says nothing besides this testimony, but the reason will be because perhaps he felt this as an event more than his consciousness. For Jesus, it is nothing but a blessing from Father. "Thou art My beloved Son"; there is not at all the room where another person enters there. "Jesus was praying", it was the figure of a deep intercourse of Father and Son, I hear it. However, why God said "Thou art My beloved Son" here? Would it be insufficient by saying that "I love you"? It is so. God would show Jesus, who stood to a starting line as the Messiah, by saying "Thou art My beloved Son", the trip that He should run, and give the green light. It was that Jesus kept on walking a way to the cross. It would be declaration of intention of Jesus to the thought of Father that He has been taken Baptism based on "repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (3:3) and was praying. Now, Jesus has born our sins and began to walk the way to the cross.