Jesus, the Son of Adam

1 corinthians 1521–22 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Luke 3:23–38 (ESV)

23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, 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 Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, 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 Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, 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 Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Today, we read one of two genealogies for Jesus. We will look at the second one tomorrow. We are likely tempted to skip over these lists of names because they do not seem to have much important information in them for us. Most of the names listed are unfamiliar. So, why read them?

Luke’s genealogy is important for the message that the Gospel writer is trying to communicate. Luke’s message is that Jesus is the sinless man who will go to the cross to die for the sins of all of mankind. Luke’s genealogy traces Jesus all the way back to the first man because it was the first man and woman who brought sin into the world in Genesis 3. And it was to Adam and Eve that God promised a descendant that would one day conquer over the evil serpent they encountered in the garden (Genesis 3:15). Jesus is the promised descendant and is the One who conquers Satan, sin, and death on behalf mankind. Notice Paul’s words in Romans:

For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:17–19, ESV)

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.


Prepare the Way of the Lord

naming of john the baptist

The Naming of John the Baptist – Public Domain Image

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. I do not publish supplemental material on Sundays, but I do include a suggested Scripture reading, which is below. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. In 2019, we are reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the New Testament Gospels.

Reading the Word

Luke 1:57–80 (ESV)

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65 And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

The Mighty Has Done Great Things for Me

luke 149 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Luke 1:39–56 (ESV)

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Understanding and Applying the Word

After Mary’s conversation with the angel Gabriel regarding the birth of Jesus, she went to see Elizabeth. Elizabeth was also going to have a child, John the Baptist. When the women greet each other, their joy is evident as Elizabeth praises Mary and Mary reflects on how the Lord has chosen her for such a great role.

Notice Mary’s words in verses 46-55, often called “The Magnificat” or “Mary’s Song of Praise.” She speaks of her humble estate and how the Lord had given her honor. From now on, people would call her “blessed.” She was the one who would carry the child Jesus in her womb and give birth to the Savior and Messiah. She was the one who God had chosen to use to fulfill his promises from the Old Testament Scriptures. She was blessed indeed and she humbly praises the Lord for choosing her.

As we reflect on how God blessed Mary in such a unique way, we must not forget that God uses all of his people every day to fulfill his plans for the world. He uses each of us right where we are to reach our family, friends, and neighbors with the message of hope that comes through Jesus Christ. He uses us to show his love and grace in a world where darkness and evil, pain and suffering, are the norm. Let us also praise the Lord for blessing us and using us for his purposes.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

A Servant of the Lord

luke 138 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Luke 1:26–38 (ESV)

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses record what is often referred to as “The Annunciation.” This is the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the young virgin Mary that she was going to have a baby. Her baby would not be just any baby, but the “Son of the Most High.” Mary was told that her son would sit on the throne of his father David and would reign forever. With these words, Mary was being told that she would give birth to the long-awaited Messiah whom was prophesied in the Old Testament Scriptures and whom her people had been waiting for for hundreds of years.

Imagine how you might feel if you were face-to-face with an angel and told that you would be entrusted with a great responsibility such as giving birth to and raising the Son of God, the Messiah. Also, imagine that you are merely a young teenager and not even married yet. This was Mary. A young girl who was engaged, but not yet married in a world where pregnancy outside of wedlock was unacceptable. How would she deal with the social pressure? How would Joseph respond to this news? Who would believe her when she maintained that she was a virgin and that the child was of the Holy Spirit?

Mary’s response to the angel is something for us to think about. She said, “Behold, I am a servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” She did not ask to be excluded even though this was going to be extremely difficult for her. She trusted God and submitted to his plans for her. Can we do the same? Are we willing to be used in whatever way God chooses for us?

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

When We Doubt

ask blackboard chalk board chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on


Reading the Word

Luke 1:5–25 (ESV)

5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

Luke gives us the background to the birth of John the Baptist in today’s passage. Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth were both advanced in age. They had no children and Elizabeth was barren (v. 7). She had not been able to conceive when she was younger and now she is beyond her childbearing years. In this seemingly impossible situation, an angel appears to Zechariah while he is on duty in the temple and tells him that Elizabeth is going to have a baby. This will not be just any baby, but one who will be used in an amazing and unique way. This baby will prepare the way for the ministry of Jesus Christ.

When Zechariah heard the words of the angel, he did not jump up and down in joyful celebration. He did what many of us would likely do. He doubted. After all, how could an old man and woman have a baby? He did not believe the angel and asked for proof that what he was saying was true. Because of his unbelief, Zechariah received a sign. He was left unable to speak until John the Baptist was born.

Unbelief is sin and we see that Zechariah is punished for it. However, we also see that the plans and purposes of God will be accomplished. God fulfills his promises even among sinful people who doubt him and fail in their response to his word. This should bring comfort to us all because we have all failed at one time or another. We have all doubted. Yet God’s plans stand forever. We can have complete confidence in him, even when we cannot trust ourselves.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

God Dwelt Among Us

John 114 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

John 1:1–18 (ESV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As we read through the life of Jesus throughout this year, we will be taking a chronological approach. Three of the four Gospels, Mark being the exception, speak of Christ coming into the world. Matthew and Luke give us the events surrounding his miraculous birth. The opening words to John’s Gospel also tell us of Jesus coming into the world, but in a much different way.

John tells us that Jesus is divine. He is the eternal Word who became flesh and dwelt among us. How amazing is that! The eternal Creator came into the world as a man to reveal to us the truth about God (v. 18). It is through Jesus that we know definitively that God exists, what he is like, what he desires from us, and how much he loves us.

Jesus, the man who lived, died, and rose again from the dead, confirmed that our Scriptures are the word of God. He taught us that God is loving and gracious and will forgive those who repent of their sins. And he went to the cross to show us just how great a price God was willing to pay for our salvation. The Resurrection confirmed that Jesus was who he claimed to be and that what he taught was true. God really came and dwelt among us! That makes all the difference in the world!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

The Life of Jesus Recorded


2nd century biblical text fragment from Egypt

Reading the Word

Luke 1:1–4 (ESV)

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.

Luke’s Gospel begins with a purpose statement. Luke is writing to a recipient he calls “most excellent Theophilus.” To open his Gospel, Luke says that his purpose for writing is to put together an orderly account of the things that have happened. He received his information from those who were eyewitnesses of the events. And he writes these things that Theophilus can be certain of their truth.

We often take the word of God for granted. Most of us have multiple copies and they often sit around on our shelves collecting dust. Imagine where we would be without God’s written word.

What if the events of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection were not recorded for us? If we knew anything about Jesus at all, we would be left to wonder what was true and what was not. Thankfully, God wrote these things down for us so that we could study the events and teachings of our Lord. We can grow in our understanding and we can know who Jesus was, why he matters, and what we need to do in response to his life and teachings. That is what we will be doing together in 2019. Let us take a moment to thank God for his word and ask him to teach us in the year ahead.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. Please subscribe to this page so you can follow along each day. We will be reading through the life of Christ as recorded in the four Gospel accounts in 2019.

Read Your Bible Every Day in 2019

photo of child reading holy bible

Photo by nappy on

Tomorrow is a new year. We all know what that means: New Year’s resolutions. Most of us have made them. Many of us will make them again this year. Why not make one that will have an eternal significance? Resolve to read your Bible every day in 2019.

If that is something you would like to do, I would like to help. Subscribe to this page and follow along with the daily posts. Each day will include a passage from Scripture and some of my personal thoughts on what the passage means. The entire post will take no more than a few minutes to read. I know you can do it! And I know you will benefit from reading God’s word every day.

In 2019, we will read through the life of Jesus Christ together from the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Please join us. All you have to do is subscribe to the page and take the time to read the new posts each day. It is going to be a great year!

Everything that Has Breath Praise the Lord

Psalm 1506 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 150:1–6 (ESV)

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD!

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm brings us to the end of our one year focus on the Book of Psalms. Throughout the book, we have discovered how we can live honestly and openly before God as we experience pain, suffering, joy, happiness, and every other emotion that comes our way in this fallen world. Yet, through it all, we know that we can trust in the Lord because he is sovereign, faithful, and good. So, whatever we may be facing, we can say with Psalm 150, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

What is next? In 2019 we will focus each day on the life of Jesus Christ. This means we will work our way through the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) over the year. So, be sure to follow along and invite anyone you think may benefit from reading with us. Thanks for reading!

Sing to the Lord a New Song

Shaped by the Word is a daily, Bible-reading devotional. On Sundays, I include a suggested Scripture reading, but I do not publish supplemental material.

We are nearing the end of our year in the Book of Psalms. In 2019, we will be reading each day from the Life of Christ in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Be sure to subscribe to this page so you can follow along! Thanks for reading!

Reading the Word

Psalm 149:1–9 (ESV)

1 Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the godly!
2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
3 Let them praise his name with dancing,
making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
5 Let the godly exult in glory;
let them sing for joy on their beds.
6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats
and two-edged swords in their hands,
7 to execute vengeance on the nations
and punishments on the peoples,
8 to bind their kings with chains
and their nobles with fetters of iron,
9 to execute on them the judgment written!
This is honor for all his godly ones.
Praise the LORD!