Read Luke 3.
Luke chapter 3 begins with some historical context. It told us that John the Baptist began his ministry during “the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar” (v. 1). Then it goes on to list some other leaders. These leaders can be classified this way. When John’s ministry began there was:
One world leader: Tiberius Caesar (v. 1a).
Four regional leaders:
- Pontius Pilate of Judea
- Herod of Galilee
Two religious leaders:
Luke’s purpose in listing these men was to establish the life and ministry of John, and then, of course, Jesus, in human history.
But Luke may have had another purpose in mind when he listed these leaders. Despite the many layers of government and religious authorities over God’s people, God’s word did not come to any of them. Instead, verse 2 says, “the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” And that message was to get ready because “the Lord” is coming (v. 4).
When God began his kingdom program, he did not give his word to the politically powerful or even the religiously significant. Instead, he began speaking to a man out in the desert. Through him and through Jesus Christ, who did most of his preaching in small towns outside of Jerusalem (and Rome), God began to send his “salvation” (v. 6).
Does God need a President of the United States? Does he need a majority in the two houses of congress? Is his will subject to which legal ideology controls the court system?
No. In fact, God’s ways and will are done outside of human politics and inside of human hearts (vv. 7-8) through the power of his word (v. 2).
There is value in voting and in using politics to communicate what is righteous and sinful and to preserve whatever freedoms we can. But government cannot make people love God or find God’s love, righteousness, and forgiveness in Christ. Only the gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can do that. Put your faith there, not in politicians. Put more energy into the spread of God’s word than in the election of a candidate or in getting legislation passed.