Just the Facts

Luke 3:1-6:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”


When we go to see a doctor, whether for a check-up or because we’re not feeling well, we typically appreciate it when the doctor is direct with us – and, most are.  We wouldn’t want to go to see a doctor who “beat around the bush” or didn’t tell us everything related to our health – including both good and bad news.  St. Luke, a physician Himself, is the same way.  In Luke’s Gospel, we find Amazing details – including, for example, hearing about folks like Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate, Herod, Philip, Lysanias, Anna, and Caiaphas and places like Judea, Galilee, Ituraea, Trachonitis, and Abilene.  There is so much detailed data in Luke’s Gospel, that you might argue that Luke seems more like a lawyer than a physician…as if He’s making a “Case for Christ” (like Lee Strobel – a former investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune – did in his book of the same name).  But therein lies just one of the key aspects of the four Gospels – while we might enjoy all of the Gospels, some of us need this kind of data around the story of Jesus.  We need the facts and, while all of the Gospels have lots and lots of facts, St. Luke’s details and delivery are overwhelming and irrefutable.  These kinds of details help all kinds of analytical people (e.g. doctors, nurses, dentists, engineers, scientists, researchers, lawyers, accountants, teachers, investigators, etc.) get closer to God.  As we march onwards in our journeys Home to God, we need to be sure to focus on the Facts.  According to Lee Strobel’s factual research, there are 191 Messianic Prophesies in the Old Testament that would need to be fulfilled by Jesus in order for Him to be the long-awaited Messiah.  The odds of Jesus fulfilling just 8 of these Prophesies is 1 in a 100 million billion.  The odds of Him fulfilling 48 of Them is 1 in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion (that’s 1 chance out of a number that starts with 10 and ends with 157 “0’s” (e.g. 10,000,000,000,000,000…157 times in total)).  Jesus said in Luke 24:44 that everything written about the Messiah in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled…and They were.  The odds are staggering to even consider thinking something else about who Jesus is; that’s just the Facts.

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