Read Luke 3
Focus on verse 22-23
I have a friend who was adopted as a child. While the questions of why the birth parents gave up their child, and who they might have been were never really adequately answered, there was unquestioned gratitude toward the adoptive parents who loved their adopted children as their own. I’ll never forget when I was told by this person – “most people are born into a family…I was chosen!”
In today’s reading it occurred to me for possibly the first time ever that Jesus was adopted by his earthly father. Luke does not say it exactly that way, but it is clear in the context of story.
…and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am pleased.”
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son(as was supposed) or Joseph, the son of Heli, (v. 22-23)
The translators and editors of the English version of the Bible place a paragraph break between these verses – and in some cases a heading is added. I suspect it was not by chance that Luke wrote these two statements in such close proximity. Verse twenty-two clearly affirms that Jesus was the Son of God, and the following verse even adds the parenthetical note (as was supposed) when describing the linage of Jesus earthly father Joseph.
One might be inclined to wonder how it is that Jesus is considered “in the lineage of David” when Joseph was not biologically his father. What is often overlooked is that Mary, his mother, can also be traced back ancestrally to King David eliminating any question in regard to Jesus royal heritage.
We don’t often catch the significance of Jesus ancestry because at the time of his birth the Roman Empire had occupied Israel and set up Herod to rule as a vassal king. There are some, who speculate that if Israel had been an independent state at the time, Jesus’ father Joseph would have been the rightful reigning king at the time. This gives a little more credence to the alarm of King Herod when he hears word of a king being born in Bethlehem. It is not impossible that Herod would have been aware of both Joseph’s ancestry, and his location.
There are so many interesting nuances to this story; it is difficult to know where to stop. Jesus heritage as son of David, as well as Son of God, add significance to His humble acceptance of the title “King of the Jews”. He accepted it because He legitimately was not only the king of the Jews, but also the King of Kings!
In light of all this, the fact that we are adopted into the family of God becomes all the more significant as well. It this manner we are all adopted, or rather – chosen by our Heavenly Father to be part of His forever family.