Alongside Gabriel’s prediction (Luke 1:17) and Jesus’ confirmation of him as the predicted Elijah (Matt. 11:14; Matt. 17:12-13), the Gospel writers affirm that John the Baptist was the “messenger” who would prepare the way of the Lord (Matt. 11:10, Mark 1:2, Luke 7:27; compare Mal. 3:1).
Note the main aspects of John’s message. In what way was his message one of “heart-turning”? Matt. 3:2, Matt. 3:8; Matt. 14:4; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3, Luke 3:8-9, Luke 3:11, Luke 3:13-14.
Like a farmer who plows hard ground to prepare it to receive seed, John denounced sin and urged sinners to repent. Human nature is such that, without selfexamination, without an awareness of one’s true condition, no need is felt for something better. His message turned people toward the holiness of God’s requirements and their need of His perfect righteousness. Genuine repentance is always marked by humility and looking to God for help to change one’s behavior. By exposing the shallow, selfcentered hypocrisy of those who claimed Abraham as their father, he sought to open the deeper meaning of the faith of their fathers.
How did the message of John the Baptist prepare the way for Jesus? John 1:35-37, John 3:27-30.
John had been shown that Jesus was the Lamb of God. When he introduced Jesus this way (John 1:29, John 1:36), he literally turned people to the Lord. Andrew and another of John’s disciples, John, the Gospel writer who wrote the account of that day, left the Baptist’s side and became Jesus’ disciple. Not only does the Elijah message point to the need for repentance; it identifies the One who saves from sin, generates excitement about Him, and introduces people to Him.
|If John the Baptist were to step into your home, what do you think he would be saying to you?|