“…the word of God came to John son of Zechariah…” Luke 3:2
Some of us have heroes of the faith, people who do great and extraordinary things because of their relationship with God. For some people, these hero’s are the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Bible, folks like Abraham and Sarah, who receive the promise, trust God’s faithfulness, and become the forebears of a great nation. Others have as their biblical heroes, people of power and strength, like David or Sampson, who draw upon God for their strength and courage. Still others have as their hero’s one of the disciples, committed followers of Jesus who were willing to leave it all behind to fish for people.
My hero is John the Baptist. Why? Because John the Baptist is an unlikely hero. As Luke tells us the story of the beginning of John the Baptists ministry, he provides us with some historical context. He does this by listing the power brokers of the day, ” In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God came to John, son of Zechariah.” Luke 3:1-2. In the midst of all the big shots of geopolitical, regional, local and religious importance, God’s Word comes to John. In terms of power and prestige, Zechariah’s son John is a nobody. And yet, the Word of God comes to John, who will prepare the way for Jesus.
This gives me hope because Luke is about to unfold a story which shows how God works in that which is often overlooked. God will be at work in the lives of two distant cousins, John who will “prepare the way” and Jesus who will repair the wayward. And in the telling of the Good News of Jesus we will hear over and over again how God uses the least and the least likely to bring about our salvation. In the wilderness a Wild and Wooly preacher will prepare the way for the one who is to come. He will fill in the potholes on the road, he will straighten out the paths, he will help us see the roadblocks and the obstacles that get in the way of or relationship with God. And the one who is coming will remove the final obstacles and roadblock, our sins and bring us to the promise of new life.
As you continue your Advent-ure in faith how is God’s word coming to you?
Just Another Passing Thought!