Thursday 19 September, 2019

Luke 3:1-6

3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”

What a fascinating way Luke has chosen to write this portion of his account of Jesus. It is as if he starts with a long shot to establish the setting and then zooms in closer and closer until he reaches the extreme close up. Luke starts with the highest ranking leader in the Roman Empire, Tiberius Caesar; then the Roman Governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate; then the Roman installed leader of Galilee, Herod the tetrarch; then the Jewish religious leaders, Annas and Caiaphas; and then … John.

Starting with great political power and ending with humble John. In fairness, John belonged to the tribe of Levi, God’s chosen priests, and his birth was quite remarkable… but it is almost comical to consider his everyday life against that of Caesar.

What strikes me is that all the other people in this list had great political power, wealth and influence. But it was John who received the Word of the Lord, and it was John whom God was going to use to announce His son, the saviour of the world.

God uses those He chooses, not necessarily the powerful, or wealthy, or influential to bring about His purposes. Will I answer God’s call today? Who knows how He may use me! God, I want to be part of the big story you are telling. Help me to recognise your voice and follow your leading today. Amen!

Written by Ps. Beth Waugh

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