September 21 Gospel Reading

Luke 3:23 – 4:1

23 Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Janna, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathiah, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathiah, the son of Semei, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah, 27 the son of Joannas, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattathah, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalalel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. 1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Origen in his Homilies on Genesis said:

“But also if you who hear these words direct your thoughts to the holy Scriptures in your leisure, you will discover many great events to be comprised under the number thirty or fifty. Joseph was thirty years old when he was led out of prison and received the rule of all Egypt that he might divert the calamity of an imminent famine by divine provision. Jesus is reported to have been thirty years old when he came to baptism.”

Ambrose in his Exposition of the Gospel of Luke said:

“You see that the description of descent is connected by the old custom from the fathers to the sons and from the sons to the fathers. You see that the family is everywhere listed through the generations of the husband. Do not marvel if Matthew reports the order of the generations from Abraham to Joseph, and Luke from Joseph to Adam and to God. Do not marvel that Joseph’s lineage is described. Indeed, being born according to the flesh, he must follow the usage of the flesh, and he who came into the world must be described in the custom of the world, particularly as the lineage of Mary is also in the lineage of Joseph. For since Joseph was a righteous man, he took a wife from his own tribe and his own country, nor could a righteous man contravene what is prescribed in the law….She who enrolls from the same house and the same country surely signifies that she is of this same tribe and this same country.”

“It is fitting that it be recorded that the first Adam was cast out of Paradise into the desert, that you may observe how the second Adam returned from the desert to Paradise… Adam brought death through the tree. Christ brought life through the cross. Adam, naked of spiritual things, covered himself with the foliage of a tree. Christ, naked of worldly things, did not desire the trappings of the body. Adam lived in the desert. Christ lived in the desert, for he knew where he could find the lost. With their error canceled, he could recall them to Paradise… So Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, is led into the desert for a purpose, in order to challenge the devil. If he had not fought, he would not have conquered him for me.”

Ambrose wrote in his Letter 63:

“…the Lord Jesus, wishing to make us more strong against the temptations of the devil, fasted when about to contend with him, that we might know that we can in no other way overcome the enticements of evil. Further, the devil himself hurled the first dart of his temptations from the quiver of pleasure, saying: ‘If You be the Son of God, command these stones become bread.’ (Mt.4:3) After which the Lord said: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God;’ (Mt.4:4) and would not do it, although He could, in order to teach us by a salutary precept to attend rather to the pursuit of reading than to pleasure. And since they say that we ought not fast, let them prove for what cause Christ fasted, unless it were that His fast might be an example to us. Lastly, in His later words He taught us that evil cannot be easily overcome except by our fasting, saying: ‘This kind of devils is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.’ (Mt.17:21)

C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity wrote:

“A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.”


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