Today we are reading from Mark 1: 1-8:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
We see today that that before Jesus comes and begins His ministry, first John the Baptist comes. John comes, preaches, baptizes, and gets folks ready for Jesus’ appearance. He calls the people to repentance. He calls the people faithfulness. He prepares their hearts for Jesus.
He is getting them ready for what is coming. He is, in many ways, an agent of God’s prevenient grace, preparing the way for the salvation that is to come. He comes to convict, to challenge, to show us that we are not where we should be with God.
But his presence shows us that God is at work, reaching out to us, working to bring us to Himself. John is that example in Scripture. He is not saying doing these things will save you, but the one who will save you is coming.
Get ready. Get your heart right. He is coming. But if our heart is clouded by the things of the world, we will be blind to Him when He comes. In other words, if we are so immersed in the stuff of the world we won’t even be looking for Jesus when He does come.
The stuff of this world, (popularity, power, money, whatever), they cloud us from seeing Jesus. John calls us to turn from them. Look for Jesus. And we will find.
We all need John. He reminds us to look for Jesus and to turn away from what destroys. Let’s follow John’s teaching and John’s way today.
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