Summary: God has a plan and He has prepared the people and the circumstances for it to come to pass.
Being Prepared to be Prepared
When you think about John the Baptist, what do you see in your minds eye?
1. Wild looking man out in the dessert calling people to repent and baptizing them in the Jordan River.
2. A man with a camel hair garment with a leather belt. Can you smell the wet dirty clothes? Maybe he smells a little like a wet dog, fore sure a wet camel.
3. Maybe you see his head on a platter in King Herod’s court.
4. Maybe you would think of “A voice in the wilderness”.
These thoughts are all true; you can imagine all kinds of scenes to picture the Baptizer, but what about him and the job the God had sent him to do?
What was John’s ministry? He was to prepare the way for Christ the Messiah. He was to get the people, the country, and the world ready to receive the Messiah.
We see this in the scriptures; we have heard this in church. The entire Bible has been written to tell us about Jesus and how to receive eternal life through Him.
The Bible was written to prepare us for our Savior’s first and second coming.
The Bible tells us about preparing for an event, a great event.
Now I have said all this to tell you that that is not what I’m going to talk about this morning.
How much preparation does it take to get out of bed? How much preparation does it take to go to school or to the store?
Are we looking at more time if we are looking at a vacation or a trip across the country?
The bigger the event, the more preparation it takes.
How many of you watched the opening of the Olympics this fall? Thousands upon thousands of performers, experts and volunteers worked hundreds of thousands of hours to make it work, and after a few days or weeks it is just a pleasant memory.
An earth changing event must have more planning and preparation. All the people and events must be coordinated to work to gather.
Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a picture of certain specie of bird.
Months went by and then years passed and no painting. The emperor became very angry and went to the artist and asked him where the painting was.
The artist sat down and painted the most beautiful picture of this bird that could have ever been painted.
The emperor asked him why he had not painted the bird until now. The artist took him into another room and showed him the hundred of bird parts that he had painted: eyes, feathers, wings, feet & heads.
He had spent hours and hours along with gallons of paint preparing to paint the master piece. Until he had completed his preparation, he could not paint the master piece.
Jesus’ arrival had to be prepared for, as this was a world changing event, this was the biggest event in the history of man. Everything had to be right, every piece needed to be in place. Every character had to know their part and be ready to do it correctly.
John the Baptist was there, he was prepared, and it was the right time and the right place. He was ready to tell the world that the Messiah was coming.
What is the most amazing thing to me here is not that John was preparing the way for Jesus but that Jesus had already prepared the way for John.
Look at the scripture: “I will send my messenger ahead of you.” John was God’s messenger for Jesus. But God was the messenger for John and had prepared the way for him.
Isaiah 40:3 “Voice of one calling”:
The way was prepared for John in advance. There had been 400 years between Malachi and the time of John. The time between our Old and New Testaments was filled with preparation of the Jewish people to expect a messiah. They were ready to hear the message after 400 years of not hearing from God.
The way was prepared for John in advance by God Himself. John was not only preparing the way for Jesus but Jesus had already prepared the way for John.
700 years before his birth, God was preparing the way for John to prepare the way for our Savior.
John was a gift from God. We read of the miracle of his conception and birth in Luke 1:5-25.
His parents were given instruction on how John was to be raised, and what he should eat and drink.
Before John’s birth, God was preparing the world for John to prepare the way for Jesus.
His service, his ministry, was not by chance, or a happenstance, it was a thought out, well prepared plan.