Luke 3 starts with John the Baptist, now an adult, fulfilling his calling and preparing people for the kingdom of God. The Jews thought their family connection would guarantee them a place in the kingdom, but John says if you want to be in God’s family, do what God asks of you. “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones” (Luke 3:8). He goes on to say how we can prove ourselves. If we have two items of clothing, be prepared to give away the extra one. Share our food with the hungry. These are great verses to live by, but they were so radical, people wondered if John was their Messiah. He was quick to deflect attention away from him to the man who would come after him. He felt himself unworthy to perform even the most menial of tasks for Jesus, but he did a great job of bringing God into people’s consciousness. John wouldn’t pander to anyone. He called out wrong when he saw it, which eventually landed him in prison, but it’s not prison-doors Luke wants us to remember; it’s the ultimate moment in John’s career – the day when he baptised Jesus.
After His baptism, Jesus was praying, and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove and settled on Him. Then God’s voice came from heaven: “You are My dearly loved Son, and You bring Me great joy” (Luke 3:22). I find it interesting that directly after God acknowledges Jesus as His Son, Luke moves on to Jesus’ earthly family, tracing His roots all the way back to Adam and then to God.
Let’s never think any earthly connections are going to bring us to God. Closeness with God comes from knowing and believing in Jesus, His Son. You don’t have to settle for anything less.