The Big Picture
Scripture Reading — Luke 3:1-9
“The crooked roads shall become straight … And all people will see God’s salvation.”
Luke 3:5-6 —
My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Hoogwerf, once held up our classroom globe and asked, “Where in the world will God call you to go?” She lifted our sights to look beyond our little town and out to a big world.
In today’s verses, Luke projects John the Baptist’s startling message and Jesus’ coming into ministry on a big screen. He mentions the Roman rulers and governors to show that Jesus’ ministry is not merely in a sliver of land in the Middle East called Palestine. The setting is the entire Roman Empire. Luke alerts us that the work God is doing is world news!
Writing to believers in new churches, the apostle Paul described God’s wide reach: “All things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). Ephesians 1:10 gives the reason: “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” When Jesus comes again, he will deliver the kingdom to the Father, defeating every competing power “so that God may be all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28).
As we learn in the book of Acts, a companion volume to Luke’s gospel, the good news of Jesus begins to circulate in Jerusalem and spreads all the way to Rome. Luke shows that the reach of God’s salvation and renewal through Christ is global—and it’s still spreading today.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lift my vision to see where your love is reaching—to every corner of the earth. Help me to do my part, in your strength. Amen.