1 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.’ ”
I love how Luke begins this passage, stating the time, place, and people of significance to ground this account in reality, and mark its place in history. And what happened at this point in history? The passage tells us “The word of God came to John.” John did not speak his own words, but he preached a word from God, in the power of God’s Spirit. Let’s be sure to listen and trust in this message that John brought, about “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”.
Thank you, Lord that your message of hope is real and true and comes with authority. Help us to recognise the significance of this message in our lives here today. Amen.
Written by Ps. Andrea Molteno