John the Baptist prepares the Way for Jesus…

As we continue in the Gospel of Luke, we return to John the Baptist. To recap, Luke begins his writing in Chapter 1 with a tribute to John’s parents, a priest named Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth. The angel Gabriel came to Zechariah and announced they would have a miracle son. Gabriel made clear this child was to be a Nazirite – one set apart for God’s service. When the time was right, John was to pave the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the spirit and power of Elijah. In other words John was to function as a prophet. In Chapter 2, Luke walks us through the 12th year of our Lord. Now in Chapter 3, Luke writes about Isaiah prophesying John and his work hundreds of years before his birth: 

“During the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘A voice of one calling in the wilderness’,         “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.” (Luke 3:2-6)

Each of us are born with purpose. But John was the person given the privilege of first introducing Jesus to the world. His story is told in all four Gospels. In addition to that, his coming was predicted in Isaiah 40:3, Malachi 4:5, and he is mentioned in Acts 1:5, 22, 10:37; 11:16, 13:24-25; 18:25 and 19:3-4.  John was to tell the world who Jesus Christ the Messiah was so he would be recognized when those lucky enough to meet him did. 

John was unique. He wore odd clothes, ate strange food, and preached an unusual message to the Judeans prompted to go to the wastelands to see him. He knew he had a specific role to play in the world and put his energies into this task. Luke tells us John was ready and waiting in the desert when God’s word of direction came to him. John remained faithful to that calling and it was in his communications with God that he was able to embody wisdom and learn how to counsel those in his path. Speaking with almost irresistible authority, people were moved by his words because he spoke divine truth. They were moved by the hundreds to repent and do life differently.  

John told them: “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher”, they asked, “What should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than what you are required to,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what shall we do?” He replied, “Don”t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.” 

The people were waiting expectantly and were wondering in their hearts if John might be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Luke 3:11-16)

John did not even know for certain who the Saviour was as he spoke to others of him. As prophets do, he just believed and waited until Jesus finally came. 

This is faith and John had it. He lived the message he’d been given by God fully. There will be times when we may not know what the Lord is going to have us do next. Our job is to heed his calling. He will bring what we need when we need it. As was with John the Baptist, there is always a plan. Trust Him.

More on John the Baptist next week. May we who know who the Lord act as John and help pave the way for Jesus to all who will listen when opportunity presents itself.

May there be peace coming soon in all of the places that are at war. We pray for their every need as we go forth.🙏

Blessings and Love to you and yours.❤️

Poppa B.