What Should We Hear From John the Baptist?
Isaiah prophesied that God would send someone like a voice calling in the desert to announce the coming of the true Redeemer. John the Baptist was that voice.
This great prophet was born in a miraculous way to aged parents, named Zacharias and Elizabeth. God sent an angel to them to tell them they would have a son. They should call him John, the angel said’ and his work would be of great importance to many people. His duty was to prepare the way for God to reveal Himself. That is, he was to prepare the hearts of the people to receive God’s revelation.
John was born, just as the angel had declared. As he grew up, his parents taught him to be a serious, faithful, and obedient servant of God. Early in his life he knew that God would use him in a special way. He accepted the call to arise and warn the people. Until the time came for him to begin his ministry, he lived quietly in the desert. He ate simple country food, spent his time in prayer and reading God’s Word, and remained completely devoted to God in every way.
Then God led him to begin preaching, as we have found, out on the banks of the river. His life was so dedicated to God, and his message was so clear and compelling, that many people were attracted to him. “Come,” they said, “Let’s listen to him. Let’s hear what he has to say. Perhaps this is the Messiah who is to come.”
You see, most of the people had come to accept their traditional religion in a routine way. They did not feel free to question the customs. Yet, they were not truly satisfied. It seemed they had a kind of desert place within their own hearts. Knowing their lives were not entirely pleasing to God, they felt a stirring of guilt. The message of John disturbed them.
“Who are you?” some of the leaders asked him. “Are you the Messiah we are expecting? Are you a resurrected prophet?” “No,” John answered in a humble manner, “I am not. I am the voice of one calling in the desert: Make straight the way for the Lord! I am not even worthy to untie the thongs of the Messiah’s sandals.”
For You To Do
Decide if each statement is True. If a statement is False, write down the correction on a piece of paper.
- John’s birth was predicted by an angel
- He was called to arise and warn the people.
- His life was simple and pure in every way.
- He believed he was the Messiah.
- People were happy and satisfied with their traditional religion.