He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ Luke 3:3-4 (NIV)
Here we find a man selected and driven by the Lord. It was prophesied long ago by Isaiah that God would send him. He is a man who is removed from the chaotic world where he lives. He has been set to a higher task. His goal in life was not to purchase a greater house or live a more comfortable life. Something moves deep within his spirit. He starts sharing this message which the Lord impresses upon his heart. He begins his ministry. But what is his message? What is his life´s work? Why does God move this man to speak? What does he dedicate his life to?
Repent! Be baptized! Seek forgiveness of sins!
Was this his message? What is this voice in the wilderness trying to get us to turn from? Why should we need to drop our former ways? What have we done wrong? Is it because we are filthy individuals? Are we a threat to society? Or could it be that we have somewhere left God´s intentions for us? Is it that we have forgotten why God made us in the first place? Were we intended to make the best of this life that we possibly can? Were we placed here to have an immensely satisfying and fun time? Were we designed to go out and achieve all the success and rewards that this world has to offer us? Are we supposed to live comfortable and happy lives while we are alive and kicking?
Or did God carefully design and create our race of people so that we could be near Him? Did He plan to have a relationship with us? Was He intending for us to know Him as He knows each of us? Did He go through all the work and heartache of nurturing our species so that we could bring Him joy as a Father has with his own children? Even an earthly father does not normally have children to leave them and never to have any more to do with them. Do they usually want to share the joys of an intimate relationship? Do they normally want to give and receive all kinds of wonderful love and care? Would our eternal Father be like that but a thousand times more intensely? Has He not proven His concern for our race? Has He worked long and hard to approach us, teach us of Him, and restore us to Him? Has He given of Himself and His Own dear Son for us?
John the Baptist let his voice be heard. He boldly declares God´s intentions to us. He could not contain the message the Lord was impressing upon His heart. He tells us faithfully of our need to be restored to a life WITH God! He asks men to be baptized to express our commitment to seeking that relationship. He asks men not to hold nominal beliefs in our hearts but to step out upon what we believe. He asks us to choose God over our former pursuits and our former way of being. In doing this, was he preparing our hearts to receive Jesus Christ? People went out to see and hear this man speaking in the wilderness. Are we able to hear his words still today? If we get very still in a quiet place, can his voice float into our ears too?
Dear Father in Heaven, we have heard a voice speaking to us. It tells of our relationship to You. Impress upon our hearts the weight of that message, we pray. Should we leave our ways too? What do we need to do, to restore a good and fulfilling connection to You? Should we bow down in repentance? Do we need to leave our earthly pursuits? Should we lift You higher? Could we be Your people too? Help us please we pray!