Text: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me; and the Lord, Whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”
“The voice of him (John the Baptist) that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God…and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.”
Good morning, believing Christian! You have, by the grace of God and His gracious gift of faith, believed the Gospel account of Salvation through Christ’s Sacrifice at the Cross for us. You have believed without seeing all things for yourself. You have been enabled to trust in the unseen Lord God, and His Son, Christ Jesus by grace through faith. Blessed with blessings are you indeed.
“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen Me (the resurrected Christ Jesus), thou hast believed; blessed are they that have NOT seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)
God sends men and women into our lives as His witnesses, His messengers, to testify that God’s grace has been poured out; that Christ Jesus has come to save us by His full and Holy Atonement Sacrifice on the Cross; and that Eternal Salvation is offered to us, if we put our full trust by faith in Him. What a privilege it is to carry God’s message!
However, how will precious souls ever hear of this great deliverance if God does not send someone to bear witness to us for Him? Thus, God sent us John the Baptist, His messenger, to proclaim that the Messiah, the long-awaited Lamb of God’ had indeed come to take away the sins of the world.
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light (Jesus), that all men through Him might believe.” (Vs. 6-7)
The wonderful man we know as John the Baptist was the gift of God to the faithful, ageing, yet childless priest of God, Zacharias (Zachariah) and his barren wife Elisabeth of the tribe of Aaron. (Luke 1:5-7)
An angel of the Lord appeared unto Zacharias as he was fulfilling his priestly duty by burning incense in the
The angel told Zacharias that his prayers for a son had been heard and
were about to be miraculously answered; that his wife Elisabeth, in spite of
her barrenness and age, would bear him a son, whose name must be called
John. He would be filled with the Holy
Ghost from the very time of being in his mother’s womb; and he would turn many of the tribe of Israel
to ‘…the Lord their God…’ (Luke 1:13-17)
Yet, most important of all, he would be sent as the prophesied ‘messenger’, “…in the spirit and power of Elias (Elijah)…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17) What a God-sent mission!
Elisabeth was the cousin of the woman whom, a mere six months later, was privileged to be the chosen human mother of Jesus - a Jewish virgin called Mary. (Luke 1:36)
Zacharias, ‘…filled with the Holy Ghost…prophesied…’ that John would be part of the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies concerning the long awaited coming of the Messiah. John would go before Christ Jesus to call the Jewish Nation to repentance; to prepare the way for Christ’s coming to His own as promised in Holy Scriptures. (Luke 1:67-80)
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah), saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” (Matthew 3:1-3) (Malachi 3:1) (Isaiah 40:1-11) (John 1:23)
John would not come as the Light of the world, Christ Jesus, but to bear strong witness of Him - and praise God, he did. John proclaimed the good news of Christ’s first coming into the world as the Lamb of God Who would take away the sins of the world. Hallelujah! What a witness to those of us who sat in the darkness of sin and Eternal damnation. Bless the Lord!
Thought: John was faithful unto death - will you and I bear witness to Christ with our daily lives? (Acts 1:8)