John or Tiberius?

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

To many people living in New Testament times, life revolved around men like Tiberius. Born on this day in 42 BC, this man succeeded his stepfather, Augustus, as “Caesar” of the Roman Empire in 14 AD. He remained ruler until 37 AD.

Tiberius was “Caesar” during the ministry of Jesus and the early days of the Church. On one hand, he was recognized for his contributions as an administrator, but he also was known for his temper and arrogance, and he trusted no one.

In 27 AD, around the time when John the Baptist began his ministry, Tiberius left Rome and settled permanently on the island of Capri. There he built prisons, dungeons, torture chambers, and places of execution.

Tiberius indulged in cruel, obscene entertainment, sometimes killing those who displeased him. His insecurity led to a reign of terror. He was so hated that there was widespread rejoicing when he died.

This ruler is mentioned only once in the Bible, in Luke 3, as a reference for the beginning of John’s ministry. At the time, people surely thought that Tiberius was more important than John. But history has shown that John had an impact that was more far-reaching. Tiberius may have ruled Rome, but John called men and women to get their hearts right before God. And he prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah.

Today, many people aspire to achieve the kind of power, wealth, and influence held by men like Tiberius. Yet God looks for people like John, who are sold out for His Kingdom.

Make it your ambition to serve God. Like John, seek to point people to Jesus by your example, your words, and your resources.