There has never been anyone like John the Baptist! He wore a camelhair coat, ate grasshoppers and wild honey, but man could he preach. He could preach like nobody you ever heard. At just the right moment, John burst on the scene as the forerunner of the Messiah. We don’t know to whom John preached his first sermon, but the Gospels tell us that immense multitudes came to hear him and were baptized. When John preached, his words stirred your soul and made you feel remorse for your sinfulness. It was uncomfortable, and it was comforting at the same time.
We don’t know what it was that brought Jesus out of the carpenter’s shop at the moment he did. Most likely, it was John’s preaching. The scriptures are silent about Jesus for eighteen years of his life, but his powerful ministry begins with his baptism by John the Baptist in the Jordan River.
John knew who Jesus was but didn’t know that he was the Messiah. He didn’t feel comfortable baptizing Jesus, but Jesus insisted that it was necessary to fulfill righteousness, so John consented. As he baptized Jesus, he realized Jesus was the Messiah because he saw a dove descend on Jesus and heard the voice of God from heaven that proclaimed that Jesus of Nazareth was his beloved Son. This was all John needed.
The two parted company, Jesus going into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan and John to continued his ministry. However, six weeks later, with people everywhere, Jesus appeared on the banks of the Jordan, and John introduced him. He did it this way: “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
That is what John continued to do—point to Jesus as the Messiah. When asked if he was the Messiah, he answered with an emphatic no! Nor was he a prophet like Elijah or Moses. He was simply the one preparing the way for Jesus. John saw himself as a spiritual road builder—making a straight path for Jesus. John’s favorite verse from the book of Isaiah was “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord’” (John 1:23).
John was a road builder—he prepared a way for people to come to God. You see, you can’t meet Jesus without repentance. You have to acknowledge you are a sinner and be sorry for your sin, and when you have done that, you are ready to meet the savior. I like to think we can be road builders like John preparing people to come and meet the savior. We too can introduce Jesus as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”
(Parenting with a Long View) https://bovdbrooks.com/