I've been reading an interesting article by a sociologist (not a theologian) which mentions in passing the Scripture passage Luke 3:1-2.
The author of the article suggests that the Evangelist is employing irony by contrasting a long list of worldly powers and their juristictions with the fact that the most momentous historical event actually came to a humble "nobody" in the desert.
I always thought that St. Luke was merely placing the event in history, but I can see now that he is also possibly employing the irony the author suggests:
"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."