Luke 1:17, “And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
John the Baptist was blessed with the honor of being the forerunner to Jesus’ incarnation and earthly ministry. He was given to his mother Elizabeth and father Zechariah as a miracle child based on the prophetic words of an angelic visitation found in Luke 1:5-25. He is known as the “Baptist” because he baptized people in water for repentance.
The angel that visited his parents proclaimed God’s plan for his life and that he was to be set apart and used mightily for the Lord according to the prophecy found in Malachi 4:5-6, “5 See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” God wanted to establish a generational blessing with the people of Israel that would be the foundation for the church of Jesus Christ.
The Bible describes him living in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey, while wearing clothes made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist (Mark 1:6). This lifestyle was considered strange even in his day. Yet, when he began his ministry he was like a wild brush fire that set the Judean countryside ablaze with the message of repentance and water baptism (Luke 3:7-14).
Not only was John bold and courageous, but he was humble too. He was keenly aware of his secondary role to Jesus in the plan of God and was willing to let all his followers know. Mark 1:7 states, “And this was his message: ‘After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.’”
John was a great man of God because he knew who he was and who he wasn’t. He knew he wasn’t the Messiah, but he was the Messiah’s forerunner.
In today’s terms, John was able to “stay in his lane.” And because of his humility, he was given the honor of baptizing Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17). Too many leaders fail because they try to be someone they’re not. Jealousy and envy rot the good fruit in our lives when we stop being thankful for what God has called us to do and what He has called others to do. Think about what Leonard Ravenhill said, “John the Baptist never performed any miracles. Yet, he was greater than any of the Old Testament prophets.” Why? Because he prepared the way for Jesus.
As we see Jesus’ second coming approaching quickly in these last days, may we all have the same faith of John the Baptist to go out into the world and preach the message of repentance and baptize all those who believe (Matthew 28:19). In doing so, I pray that we can all have the same humility of John and say, “He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” (John 3:30 NLT)
Are you preparing the way for the second coming of Jesus by preaching the gospel?
- Be filled with the Holy Spirit and be a witness for Jesus to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).
- Preach the gospel as often as you can.
- By faith, never stop making Jesus’ name great and preparing for His return!
One Year Reading Plan
Ezekiel 39:1-40:27, James 2:18-3:18, Psalm 118:1-18, & Proverbs 28:2. Click here to read online.