“A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.'” — Isaiah 40:3
When we are choosing a dentist, a mechanic or a veterinarian, we ask for recommendations from people we already trust. Therefore, it’s not easy to start a new business until someone builds a solid reputation in a community.
When Jesus started His ministry more than 2,000 years ago, most people did not know Him. However, John the Baptist convinced people to trust Jesus. As John introduced Jesus to Andrew, Peter and others, they followed Jesus based upon John’s word.
Before John was born, the Lord laid out a plan for his life to be a person who set the stage for Jesus to be the Savior. In an unusual way, God chose Zechariah and Elizabeth to be John’s parents even though they were still childless in their old age. God prepared John for his ministry through excellent parents in answer to prayer. “But the angel said to him: ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John” (Luke 1:13).
Though the world dwelt in darkness at the time, the Lord shined a bright light of truth as John introduced Jesus to the world. “Zechariah asked the angel, ‘How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.’ The angel said to him, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news” (Luke 1:18-19).
Everything happened according to God’s promise. John the Baptist became a bold messenger to bring people to Christ. When Jesus left His father’s carpenter shop to start His ministry, John pointed to Jesus as the answer to all the predictions from the Old Testament. John put all of the spotlight on the Savior. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, ESV).
In time, Jesus laid down His life on the cross for our sins, then rose from the dead to give us eternal life.
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
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