Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:‘Prepare the way of the Lord;Make His paths straight.Every valley shall be filledAnd every mountain and hill brought low;The crooked places shall be made straightAnd the rough ways smooth;And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
So the people asked him, saying, “What shall we do then?”
He answered and said to them, “He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
Then tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”
And he said to them, “Collect no more than what is appointed for you.”
Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?”
So he said to them, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”
Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
And with many other exhortations he preached to the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, also added this, above all, that he shut John up in prison.
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
"The Son of God had come into a scene of death, where man lay under the judgment of a righteous and holy God, and upon none of Adam's race could the Spirit of God rest. True, the Holy Spirit came upon those through whom God was acting, but there never had been such a manifest token of God's delight and favour, for the Spirit "descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him." God was giving visible evidence as to His delight in the Man of His pleasure; and the character of the dove no doubt manifested the features that would be in evidence in Jesus here below.
With the visible evidence there was also the Father's voice, declaring that Jesus was His beloved Son in whom all His pleasure was found. Only upon such an One could the Holy Spirit come in this manner, sealing Him as God's Own, and anointing Him for the mission with which God had entrusted Him. Here the whole Trinity is found, the Son in Person as Man upon earth to do the will of God, the Father publicly witnessing to the Person of the Son, and the Spirit upon the Son as the power for His testimony to the Father in this world.
In the opening verse of Luke 4 Jesus is brought before us as the vessel of the Spirit of God, and the vessel is full. John presents the Son as come to bear witness to the Father, but in Luke the Lord is seen as Son of Man come to do the will of God, and all that He does is by the Spirit of God. There is, as it were, nothing of self, but a vessel filled of God to carry out His desires in all things. Other vessels were to be filled with the Spirit, as had been the pious family of Zacharias, but there had never been such a vessel as this.
The Holy Spirit in bodily form was upon Him, for here was a vessel of infinite capacity to receive the Holy Spirit personally, so that the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in Him. And yet the vessel was full, for all the divine fulness was there. This is how the Lord as Man comes from the Jordan, shortly to emerge from the place of testing to public ministry, that in Him might be set forth God's thoughts for the blessing of men."
The Holy Spirit in Luke's Gospel
An Outline of Sound Words: Volumes 71 - 80