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THE BIG BOYS
December 4, 2015
 
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...Luke 3:1-2

Usually we understand this list of bosses to be intended to locate the story of Jesus in time. We think it's there so we'll know that these things took place in the historical space historical figures occupy. So we'll know that they really happened. And maybe that is why Luke tells us who was running what when John began to preach.

But it could be that there's another message in that list of important people. All those power people -- emperors, governors, high priests -- and to whom does the word of God come? John Nobody.

How about that -- this won't be a story about powerful people getting things done. It's going to be about the meek inheriting the earth.

Not that John is all that meek. John is, literally, a royal pain in the neck -- he will later be executed precisely for speaking one too many truths to kingly power. But his speech is about the meek, and how they are to be treated. Don't abuse the power you have, he tells soldiers, and merchants and tax collectors in another verse. Don't think your power will last forever, king. Every valley will be exalted -- and if you're a mountain, you'll experience an adjustment. That's the way power is. It's never eternal. It's temporary.

Probably sooner than later, we should envision our world as it will be when we are not in the center of it. Sooner than later, we should prepare for our own meekness. It's coming.

Which is good news. Because the word of God came to John. The word of God didn't come to the big boys that time. They were busy with other things.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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