What Jesus Did! 'Beginnings' — Luke 3:23

Friday, February 17, 2023

Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.
— Luke 3:23 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus begins his public ministry. He has accepted baptism, been anointed with the Spirit, and received affirmation from God. [1] Now he begins the public side of his life. If he were Joseph's son from Nazareth and just a carpenter, [2] there would have been little reason to describe any part of his life as public. From a non-descript little town, no one of importance would have known Jesus or cared about his actions. But he is much more than that. Now he begins his public ministry that will touch billions of people over the course of time. Just as Jesus' human beginnings were small, so also was his family small and insignificant. But, they are connected to a long line of folks — some of whom are important, many of whom are not — a line that extends back to Abraham and ultimately back to Adam and therefore back to God. [3] So in three ways, Jesus begins his ministry as God's Son:

  1. He is God's Son because of conception by the Spirit.
  2. He is God's Son through the anointing of the Holy Spirit at his baptism.
  3. He is God's son as all of us are, a child of humanity that traces its beginnings back to the creative work of God.

We all have begun our human lives, but we need to begin our spiritual lives. The key is to start. Have you started? What are you waiting for? If you have started, are you growing in wisdom and favor with God and people as Jesus did?  [4]

[1] Luke 3:21-22.
[2] Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3.
[3] Luke 3:23-38, especially Luke 3:34, 38.
[4] Luke 2:52.

Today's Prayer

O glorious God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for doing your work among us. Thank you for giving us a Messiah, my Savior, and having him begin his ministry in a way that makes sense to us mortals. Thank you for his connections to us through human flesh and troubles. Thank you for having him share an experience that I too can share, the grace of baptism. Thank you for the Holy Spirit who makes me your child, similar in some ways to the way Jesus is your child. Thank you for a beginning point. Now I ask you, dear Lord, to help me as I try to continually move forward to what you would have me do. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Galatians 3:26-29
  • Philippians 1:3-6; 2:13
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-17


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Illustration of Luke 3:23 NLT — Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his public ministry.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.