Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday, May 13 - Luke 3:1-3 - Tiffany

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 1 Samuel 27-28; Psalm 95; Acts 6
Today's scripture focus is Luke 3:1-3
John the Baptist Preaches
3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins;
We have quite a little skip in the years here.  We know that John the Baptist and Jesus are very close in age.  And in the last chapter, we just read about Jesus around the age of 12.
These verses that began chapter 3 are setting the scene - they give us the year, the rulers, and where we are at. 
AND, they fulfill the prophesy the angel gave Zechariah about John in Luke 1:15-17.
John, who has spent his life with never cutting his hair, never drinking any wine, had gone into the wilderness. We don't know how long he spent there, or why he was there, but while there, the Word of God came to him.
I find this fascinating considering God came to Moses in the wilderness.  That God led the Israelites through the wilderness.  And now again, a man of God is in the wilderness and God finds him. 
Because the word of God came to John, John leaves the wilderness, goes to Jordan and begins preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Matthew Henry has some great thoughts on this, but the ones that apply to our verses is this:
John came "preaching, not a sect, or party, but a profession; the sign or ceremony was washing with water. By the words here used John preached the necessity of repentance, in order to the remission of sins, and that the baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of heart, which attend, or are the effects of true repentance, as well as a profession of it. Here is the fulfilling of the Scriptures, Isaiah 40:3, in the ministry of John. When way is made for the gospel into the heart, by taking down high thoughts, and bringing them into obedience to Christ, by levelling the soul, and removing all that hinders us in the way of Christ and his grace, then preparation is made to welcome the salvation of God."
John was making way for the Lord, just as the angel had said he would do. 

I feel compelled to ask how many of us seek out God in our wilderness.  And when we find Him, or He finds us, do we then take Him into our every day society the way John did?  Do we prepare the way for the Lord as we go about our daily lives?

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Luke 3:4-6
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 1 Samuel 29-30; Psalm 96; Acts 7

1 comment:

TammyIsBlessed said...

This truly was a time of darkness, wickedness, hypocrisy, legalism. The people were under the political power of pagan idolators and the religious power of wicked high priests. But after the darkest night, comes the dawn. Truly the perfect setting for the coming of the Messiah.

Not coincidentally, John's ministry took place outside of Jerusalem, away from the establishment, uninfluenced by the religion, society and politics of his time.

And he preached the good news, and the bad news. The bad news - all mankind is sinful through and through. The good news - God will forgive those who repent, those who recognize their utter sinfulness and their complete inability to do anything to save themselves, throwing themselves on the mercy of God and desiring to be holy as He is holy.

Love your last paragraph especially Tiffany. What do we do in our wilderness?