This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.'”
– Matthew 3:3-6 (NIV)
John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
God gave John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord’s first coming by preaching that people should “make straight paths for him.”
Prior to the late 90s the roads in Mwanza, Tanzania, even in the city, were all dirt or gravel. There was no asphalt to be found. Then one day in 1990 the road from the airport and coming into town was being paved. Asphalt eventually covered the road all the way to the Catholic Cathedral in the city. Shortly afterwards I learned that the Pope was coming to Mwanza. The city was preparing for the coming of the Pope.
Prepare is still an important message for us today. We prepare ourselves for Christ’s reign in our hearts and for seeing him at his second coming by believing his Word. We focus each and every day on Christ and are filled with the peace that he paid for our sins. God gave John the role in the first century. From the time that Jesus died and rose again he has called his followers to be the ones to prepare the way for his second and final coming when he comes to rule and reign forever more.
When people came out to hear John’s message, they were moved to confess their sins and they were baptized. The baptisms that John performed were “for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). The Bible says, “Be baptized and wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16). Christians can look back on their baptisms and be assured that God has washed away their sins. If you have not been baptised it is a great milestone in your Christian life and a reminder of God’s promise to forgive you and bring you into His family.
Lord God, thank you for giving us your Son. Preserve us as loved ones of your family and help us prepare our hearts every day for you to live there and bless us. Amen.