What Jesus Did! 'God's Message Comes to John' — Luke 3:1-2

Sunday, February 8, 2015

It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod's brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At that time, a command from God came to John, the son of Zechariah. John was living in the desert.
— Luke 3:1-2
Illustration of Luke 3:1-2 —  John was living in the desert.

Key Thought

We often think that it is our setting or our location or the time in our life that determines when God's influence is most felt by us. The beginning of the Jesus story reminds us that God is greater than any setting, location, or time in history. God's message came to John when Israel was occupied by Roman power, influence, and politics. Yet this was the time that God chose to speak and to act to fulfill his promises and to redeem all peoples. No matter where you are in the circumstances of your life, don't think that God can't act and bring change, deliverance, and salvation. God is greater than any circumstance. The real issue is whether or not our hearts are yearning for his mighty works and his powerful words to change us regardless of our setting, location, or time in his history.

Today's Prayer

Abba Father, may your name be revered with holy passion and your words and works be honored today as they are by the hosts of heaven. Break through in this time and show your glory and splendor, holiness and honor, righteousness and justice, before all people. Keep my heart's fervor vibrantly passionate for you and your will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

It was the 15th year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar. These men were under Caesar: Pontius Pilate, the ruler of Judea; Herod, the ruler of Galilee; Philip, Herod's brother, the ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis; Lysanias, the ruler of Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At that time, a command from God came to John, the son of Zechariah. John was living in the desert. John went through the whole area around the Jordan River. He told the people {God's message}. John told them to be baptized to show that they wanted to change their hearts and lives. Then their sins would be forgiven. This is like the words written in the book of Isaiah the prophet : "There is a person shouting in the desert: 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled. And every mountain and hill will be made flat. Roads with turns will be made straight. And rough roads will be made smooth. Every person will know about the salvation of God!'" People came to be baptized by John. John said to them, "You are like poisonous snakes! Who warned you to run away from God's anger that is coming? You must do the things that will show that you have really changed your hearts and lives. And don't think that saying, 'Abraham is our father' will help you. I tell you that God can make children for Abraham from these rocks here! The ax is now ready to cut down the trees. Every tree that does not make good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."

Luke 3:1-9

Related Scripture Readings

So when you pray, you should pray like this: 'Our Father in heaven, we pray that your name will always be kept holy. We pray that your kingdom will come, and that the things you want will be done here on earth, the same as in heaven.

Matthew 6:9-10

"Lord God, you made the skies and the earth. You made them with your great power. There is nothing too wonderful for you to do. Lord, you are loyal and kind to thousands of people. But you also bring punishment to children for their fathers' sins. Great and powerful God, your name is the Lord All-Powerful. You plan and do great things, Lord. You see everything that people do. You give reward to people that do good things and you punish people that do bad things—you give them what they deserve. Lord, you did powerful miracles in the land of Egypt. You have done powerful miracles even until today. You did those things in Israel and you did those things wherever there are people. You have become famous because of these things.

Jeremiah 32:17-20

I command you today to love the Lord your God. I command you to follow him and to obey his commands, laws, and rules. Then you will live, and your nation will grow larger. And the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take for your own.

Deuteronomy 30:16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.