“In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1-2)
When I read these verses in preparing to preach, they sounded so very familiar. Now, in part that was because Luke does this a number of times. He begins his gospel speaking about Zechariah, John’s father, and notes that events happened when Herod was King in Judea. More famous is the beginning of his story of the Nativity, when he notes that Augustus was Emperor, and Quirinius Governor of Syria. This is clearly something Luke just does.
But, I felt there was more to it than that. This was familiar behavior on Luke’s part, but it also seemed significant for some other reason. And then it hit me: this was familiar to me because it was evidence that Luke was a physician. Luke was dating his entries!