“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:1-2 NKJV).

Do you skip over names and places in your Bible reading? If so, you’re missing one of the richest parts of the Bible, namely, its historical and geographical rootedness. In these two verses, we see Luke’s careful research and historical accuracy on display. Wherever skeptics have cast doubt at the Bible’s historicity, it has stood the test of comparison to extra-biblical sources and to archaeological discoveries. The gospel of Luke is a historical masterpiece of its time.
Here’s an assignment for today: Look up all of the names, titles and places found in these two verses. Let your own research give color and shape to the time and setting of John the Baptist’s appearance on the scene. As you do this, ask the Lord to speak to you in your study and deepen your faith and understanding. The Word of God is true and powerful!