John the Baptist Prepared The Way For Jesus

At an intersection, the green light changes to yellow; At a railroad crossing the lights begin to flash; In a small Midwestern town the tornado siren screams; On the football field the two minute warning sounds; In the cargo bay of a C-140 a red-light comes on; In the Desert of J … More

Preparation
Mark opens this gospel by explaining how John the Baptist was divinely appointed by God to prepare the way for Jesus as a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (Mal. 3:1 & Isa. 40:3). John was a rugged prophet from the wilderness and a fearless preacher. Large crowds were coming to hear John and to be baptized by him (v. 5). His baptism implied that the person had repented of sin and had turned to God for cleansing. He explained that there was One coming that was much greater than he and while he baptized with water, the coming One would baptize with the Holy Spirit (v. 8).  Why was it that John made such a great impact upon his nation? His message was effective because:
  1. He was a man who lived his message. Not only his words, but also his whole life was a testimony of what he believed.
  2. He was confronting them with a decision that they knew in their heart they ought to make. That message was to repent.
  3. He was completely humble. His own verdict on himself was that he was not fit for the duty of a slave. John asked nothing for himself but everything for the Christ whom he proclaimed.
  4. He pointed to something and someone beyond himself. He told men that while water could cleanse a man’s body, the Holy Spirit could cleanse his life and heart.

John’s one aim was not to occupy the center of the stage himself, but to try to prepare people to connect with the one who was greater and stronger than he.

Application

There were several people who were the John the Baptist in my life, “who prepared the way” for me to trust Jesus and I thank the Lord for placing them in my life? My mother prayed for me, my brother was an example and the chaplain on the troop ship who shared the gospel message drew the net.

Mark 1:1-8 (English Standard Version)

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'" John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

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