As with any great event, Jesus ministry started with John the Baptist preparing the way. John, Jesus’ cousin, was sent by the Lord to start the transformation to welcoming the Messiah. John was a wonder. He traveled through and told people to repent and get ready for the coming Messiah. He preached a life of selflessness. He told those that could exploit to be content and do what was right. He told soldiers to be content with their pay. He told tax collectors to be content with a reasonable tax.
Mostly, John was charged with the duty of preparing people for the coming of Jesus. The people had been waiting for hundreds of years, so a little prep would be useful. So God called John to be that person to make the announcement. He had forewarned the people in Isaiah that John would come on the scene to set the stage. Now the time had come. John had a special role and, in his time,, he became quite well known and many followed Him. But John knew his time was limited, so He simply made the most of it. He would tell anyone that was willing to listen of the Lord’s coming and the need to prepare their hearts.
We need to live our lives prepared as well. Jesus will return. In the meantime, we need to live as one content with all that God has provided. We need to live as new creations. Our daily lives should be filled with faith, hope and love. If we will walk in that way, we will model the life John called those in his day to lead. We will live a life honoring to God and modeling the life of Jesus!
God Bless You
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[b] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[c] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” 18 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.