John the Baptist was a strange bird… a peculiar treasure indeed.
· Miracle baby to aging parents
· Lived and preached in the wilderness
· Wore camel-hair clothes
· Are locusts and honey
In my mind, he was probably a guy who didn’t honor personal space.
Loud and brash? Uh-huh
Rubbed people the wrong way, confrontational???
But he was called to be that way.
His message to the people was an urgent wake-up call. The Promised One…the long-awaited Messiah would be coming soon.
Judgment and redemption was on the way.
John the Baptist called out to the people of Israel, “Repent!”
John spoke of repentance as a radical turning from sin. Prophecy fulfilled. Isaiah 40:3-5 promised “A voice is calling, clearing the way for the LORD in the wilderness; make smooth in the desert a highway for our God.”
He had the task of getting the people ready for Messiah’s arrival. John prepared the way for Jesus by preparing others to welcome Him. The years of waiting made the people nearly forget about God’s promise to send a Savior, someone who would redeem the people from their lives of sin, oppression, and misery.
JOHN WAS THERE TO REFRESH THEIR MEMORY. THE STORY OF JOHN THE BAPTIST REFRESHES OUR MEMORY.
You might have forgotten, but God has not. A Savior is on the way…
What good is a Savior to someone who doesn’t know they are dying.
If I don’t know I’m dirty, I don’t crave cleansing.
If I don’t know I’m sick, then how will I know I need a doctor.
The people confessed their sins and were washed clean.
How are we preparing the way of the LORD today?
John’s cry in the wilderness should be our cry today.
Run to Jesus…
Let’s be honest about our sin-sick souls.
Let’s be real about our need for a Savior.
I can answer this call to repent. In this Advent season, I am issued an invitation to exhale and honestly, humbly agree with God that I am not faithful to Him much like the people of Israel in John’s day.
None of us are, in our own strength.
We do not follow His ways. We devote ourselves to our attempts at being in control of our own little kingdoms.
The Kingdom of Heaven put on flesh to come near to us. Jesus Messiah is the One who washes away the dirt and decay of our sin, and He alone makes us clean.
POINT OUT THE PLACES IN ME THAT ARE A MESS, THE PLACES THAT ARE MAKING IT HARD FOR ME TO ENCOUNTER YOU. I CONFESS MY SINS TO YOU. MAKE ME CLEAN. PREPARE MY HEART FOR TO WELCOME YOU.