Thursday, August 16, 2007

Luke #29 - Fame and Faith

Luke #29 – Fame and Faith

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:1-2 – King James Version).

My Granddaddy Bowes was a regular guy. He worked for the Department of Transportation for the state of Virginia for thirty-seven years. He worked on automobiles and tractors in a little shop in front of his house every day after he got home from his regular job. He liked to hunt deer. He loved baseball and NASCAR racing. He held no titles. He couldn’t read. He was one of the smartest men I have ever known. He was my greatest hero outside of my Savior Jesus Christ. He never said a lot to me, but I seem to remember many of the things he did say. Watching Granddaddy was a hobby of mine. I scrutinized every thing he did; not looking for fault, but trying to be like him. He was worth emulating. One hundred years after Granddaddy has been dead there will be no history books reporting about his life, but he certainly wrote a record on mine.

Luke 3 opens with a list of fellows that I believe Luke used to give us time line for the period that things were happening. I also believe that Luke informed us of who the leaders were that we might be able to understand the climate that surrounded the events that were about to take place. You can find many records of most of these fellows listed. Some archaeological findings have been uncovered that show that history and the Bible are correct in identifying these guys and dating there time in power in their various roles.

There is listed here a group of rulers who go done in history for their various roles in the Roman Empire and Jewish history. Tiberius is noted for being the Caesar at that time; notable enough. Pilate, as most Bible students know, was the Roman ruler over the Judean province; notable enough. Herod Antipas and Philip ruled their areas; notable enough. Perhaps the most notable thing about those last two was that they survived their crazy and cruel father Herod the Great. There is also listed Lysanias who had powers equal to Pilate, Philip, and Herod Antipas; notable enough.

Another interesting story in all of this is the two High Priests. Annas was the son-in-law of Caiaphas and the High Priest that Rome chose to supersede Caiaphas, so Annas was the government's choice for High Priest. Caiaphas was the High Priest in the people's eyes. In effect there were two High Priests; one chosen by the Jews and another chosen by their conquerors. That's pretty notable, wouldn't you say?

Most notable in these two verses is John the Baptist. Did people choose him? NO! God did! Now, THAT'S notable. He upstaged both High Priests and people paid more attention to his ministry than to EITHER High Priest. He called Herod Antipas' sin what it was and was beheaded for that. He did not leave this world with a great title nor did people recognize him for the office he held. He came to recognition because John was a called man of God doing what God called him to do. Greatness is not measured by what we have or what title we own but by the faith we have in God.

I admire people like my Granddaddy and John. Their lives are not astounding by the world's record, but both were men of faith living for the Lord without any recognition by the world. Those other fellows in the above verses are known for their fame as rulers. John is known for his faith and obedience to God. Which would you have today?

Would you rather have recognition from the world for worldly things that will be destroyed OR would you have approval from God who is eternal? Do you want to go down in history as famous or faithful? With fame the world may know your name for centuries. With faith the heavens will know it forever. If I had to choose between the history book or the Book of Life...hands down...I want my name in the Book of Life.

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