Lakeside Church

Luke 3:21-28

These questions are connected to the message, “Is God Actually Good?” from May 30, 2021. You can find it here.
Dive In:
Read or listen to this passage (Luke 3:21-28) in an unfamiliar translation of the Bible (e.g. New Living Translation or The Message). Ask: God, what are you revealing about yourself in this story that you want me to hear?
  1. What piqued your curiosity, challenged you, encouraged you, motivated you from the sermon?
  2. Have you ever seriously and legitimately wondered if God is good … all the time? (This isn’t a trick question; it’s an existential and essential question)**
  3. Why do you suppose that Jesus submitted to a ‘baptism of repentance’ when he had nothing from which to repent? What was the message he was declaring?
  4. If God’s presence can’t be contained in a building, location, or ritual, what are the implications of that for you?
  5. Have you ever wondered whether, if you’d been there, you would have followed Jesus — the boy next door, the carpenter’s son, the homeless street preacher?
Geek Out:
  1. If the dove represents the Holy Spirit, what is significant about this event in light of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)? (Hint: first time …)
  2. In Matthew’s genealogy he begins typically with the last ancestor and moves to the present. Luke begins in the present and doesn’t just go back to Abraham, the ‘Father’ of the Jewish people, as Matthew does, but to Adam. What is the significance of this? What theological point is Luke trying to make? (Bear in mind that the story is going somewhere, toward the cross)
Hidden Treasures:
  1. Many scholars note that Jesus’ baptism was a symbolic hinge point between the Old Testament and the New Testament — John the Baptist represents the last of the OT prophets and the dove represents something new is happening.
  2. Note the continuity of symbolism: in the story of Noah, the dove was sent out of the ark to test to see if it was safe to disembark and it came back with an olive branch — a sign of new life. Redemption was underway, and new life was beginning.
  3. Luke’s gospel is the only one that notes Jesus praying at his baptism. Prayer will be a theme throughout Luke. If you’re keeping a Luke journal or notes on Luke, note every reference to Jesus praying as we go. We see Jesus praying at the beginning of his ministry and at the end — from the cross.
Act on it:
As you go through the week, pay attention to how your image / understanding of God impacts how you see life, how you pray, how you feel about yourself, how you react to others. Does your image of God need to be more aligned to Jesus? To the symbolism of a dove? ** One author has said the most important question for us is “Who is God?” When we get the who right we get everything right. When we get the who wrong we get everything wrong.”
~ Steve Bell, musician, author