It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness.
Luke 3: 3-6
Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Isaiah had spoken of John when he said, “He is a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him! The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth. And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’ "
Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah.
Once again they tried to arrest him, but he got away and left them. He went beyond the Jordan River near the place where John was first baptizing and stayed there awhile. And many followed him. “John didn’t perform miraculous signs,” they remarked to one another, “but everything he said about this man has come true.” And many who were there believed in Jesus.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.
Community Group Questions
- Just for fun: Do you think spring is here or do you think that there is more winter to come? Why?
- What is one thing that stood out to you from the message this week?
- Pastor Alan began in Luke chapter 3 today. Do you ever find your self worried about "...Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, Herod Antipas, Philip and Lysanias," or--rather--our modern day equivalents? What about those types of people causes you the most trouble?
- Someone wise once asked the question, "What's it going to matter in 2000 years?" What things that seem so important right now *won't* matter in 2000 years? What things still *will* matter in 2000 years?
- There was a period in John the Baptist's life when God was preparing him. Have you ever gone through a season of preparation in your life? What did it look like and what did God do in you during that time?
- John the Baptist's preparations happened in the wilderness. Have you ever experienced a time of wilderness in your life? What did your wilderness look like? Why do you think God so often does His work in us when we are in the wilderness?
- Why do you think God sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus? What do you think it tells us about who God is that he sent John first?
- In John chapter 10 we ready that "John didn't perform miraculous signs." What do you think it means that John didn't perform miracles?
- John was prepared for the work God called Him to do. How can we participate with God in the preparations He is doing in our lives? When we open our Bible? When we kneel to pray? When we get ready to go to church?
- How can we be praying for each other this week?