Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider the status and the test of the Man-Savior (3:23—4:13).
In 3:23-38 we see the status of the Man-Savior. Verse 23 says, “And Jesus Himself, when beginning His ministry, was about thirty years old, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph, the son of Heli.” Thirty was the full age for God’s service (Num. 4:3, 35, 39, 43, 47).
The record of John’s Gospel, the Gospel of the God-Savior, begins from God and comes to man (John 1:1, 14). That Gospel emphasizes His divinity in order to attest to His divine-human status. The genealogy of Luke’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Man-Savior, begins from man and traces back to God (vv. 23, 38). This Gospel emphasizes His humanity to affirm His human-divine status.
Christ as the wonderful center of the Bible is all-inclusive, having many aspects. The New Testament at its beginning presents four biographies to portray the four main aspects of this all-inclusive Christ. The Gospel of Matthew testifies that He is the King, the Christ of God according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, the One who brings the kingdom of the heavens to earth. The Gospel of Mark presents Him as the Slave of God, the One who labors for God faithfully. Mark’s account is most simple, for a slave does not need a detailed record. The Gospel of Luke presents a full picture of Christ as the only proper and normal man who ever lived on earth, and thus the Savior of mankind. The Gospel of John unveils Him as the Son of God, the very God Himself, to be life to God’s people. Among the four Gospels, Matthew and Luke have a record of genealogies; Mark and John do not. To testify that Jesus is the King, the Christ of God prophesied in the Old Testament, Matthew needs to show us the antecedents and status of this King, proving that He is the proper successor to the throne of David. To prove that Jesus is a proper and normal Man, Luke needs to show the generations of this Man, attesting that He is qualified to be the Savior of mankind. For the record of a slave, Mark does not need to tell us His origin. To unveil that Jesus is the very God, neither does John need to give us a human genealogy. Rather, John declares that as the Word of God He is the very God in the beginning.
In 3:23-38 the Man-Savior’s genealogy is traced backwards from Jesus to Adam. Verse 38 says, “The son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.” The kingdom, of which Christ is the King, is composed of Abraham’s descendants, including both his descendants in the flesh and those in faith. For this reason, the genealogy of Christ in Matthew begins with Abraham, the father of the called race, not with Adam, the father of the created race. God’s kingdom is built not with the created race of Adam, but with the called race of Abraham, including both the real Israelites (Rom. 9:6-8) and the believers in Christ (Gal. 3:7, 9, 29). To prove that Jesus is a proper Man to be the Savior of mankind by relating His genealogy, Luke traces back to Adam, the first generation of mankind.
The phrase “son of God” used with respect to Adam in Luke 3:38 does not mean that Adam was born of God and possessed the life of God, just as “the son of Joseph” does not mean that Jesus was born of Joseph, but that it was supposed that He was the son of Joseph (v. 23). Adam was created by God (Gen. 5:1-2), and God was his origin. Based upon this, it may be said that he was the son of God, even as the heathen poets considered all mankind to be the offspring of God (Acts 17:28). They were only created by God, not regenerated of Him. This is absolutely and intrinsically different from the believers in Christ being the sons of God. They have been born, regenerated, of God and possess God’s life and nature (John 1:12-13; 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:4).
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