Day 7: Luke 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God’s word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
Prepare the way for the Lord;
make his paths straight!
Every valley will be filled,
and every mountain and hill will be made low;
the crooked will become straight,
the rough ways smooth,
and everyone will see the salvation of God.
1. Luke is working as a historian, and so we get a bunch of facts about what was happening in the Roman world at the time John began his ministry. At the same time, he is telling his readers in no uncertain terms who John is, what he was here to do. He is the voice of one calling in the wilderness prophesied in Isaiah. A couple day ago we saw the promise made: the comfort of Israel would come. Now, we see the promises kept.
2. Jesus is the Lord for whom John will prepare the way. He is the salvation of God who will cause every valley to be filled and every mountain and hill made low. He is the one who will make the crooked straight and the rough smooth. He is a turning of the world upside down.
3. The ministry of John is about the faithfulness of God to keep his promises. These were ancient promises to Israel fulfilled in Christ, but they are not the last promises God has made. Our lives are to be marked by our belief in the promises of God. We live in light of an assured salvation. Are we threatened with death? We believe in one who rose from the dead. Is the future cloudy and uncertain? God has promised a new heaven and a new earth. Are we guilty or sad? God has promised to wipe away every tear from our eyes. He who promised is faithful. Let us live like it.
4. Everyone will see the salvation of God. Jesus has appeared, is being revealed, and will be finally seen by all people. The promises of God are certain: the salvation of God will extend to every corner of the universe.