The Jews had known for several thousand years that God promised to use Abraham and his descendants as influential people. Prophets for many generations foretold of a day Israel would have its own land and be a blessing to the entire world. And one day a new king was going to lead them and represent them. Not only was this king going to make them a great nation, but he would help restore what was a broken relationship with God.
But after years and years of hearing that prophecy, God went silent. For 400 years—around 15 generations—there were no significant words from any of God’s prophets.
In Luke 3, that silence was broken by John the Baptist. He told anyone who would listen, “The wait is over. The King we’ve been waiting for is here! In fact, he’s right over there. It’s Joseph’s son Jesus.”
And then Luke does something brilliant. To anyone who may have pushed back… to anyone who may have said, “Wait a minute… the prophets spoke of this coming king, and he’s supposed to be a descendant of Abraham. And not only Abraham, but there are several key people who are supposed to be in the family tree of the Messiah.” To anyone wondering about that, Luke lists a genealogy, traced backwards starting with Jesus and going all the way back to Adam. And those names anyone would be looking for in order to fulfill the words of the prophets are indeed on the list… Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, and Judah.
When you read that list of names in Chapter 3, don’t breeze by it too quickly. Maybe even say each name aloud, just as a reminder that these were real people and not just names on a page. Some of the names may sound familiar, but most of them were just everyday, imperfect people that God used to bring his plans to fruition.
In some ways, we’re like that. God uses us for his purposes. Through our lives, our choices, our words, God uses us. We are his plan for showing those around us who he is.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for making me part of your plan to impact those around me. Amen.”
That’s it for this time. Read Chapters 4 and 5 to get ready for the next one.
After centuries of hearing nothing from God’s prophets, that silence was broken by John the Baptist.