The way Luke chooses to begin this chapter is fascinating . . . he sets the stage by listing the most powerful people in the world, starting with the Emperor of Rome and narrowing in on the local secular and religious leaders. And then he takes us to John, an eccentric character who receives God’s word in the wilderness. Tiberius reigns in Rome, but Luke wants us to see what God is doing in the backwater region of Judea: he’s leading John the Baptist as he prepares the path for the One who comes after him.
Tomorrow I plan to lead our congregation in an exploration of what Luke teaches us about John as he prepares the world for the coming of the Messiah. Luke’s message for his world applies to us as well: God knows who’s ruling in Washington and London and Beijing, but he’s doing world-changing work in places few people have ever heard of.
John helped lead his world to Jesus, and he’s still doing that today.