Summary: John’s job was to prepare the way for the public ministry of Jesus. His teaching and preaching would set the stage for Jesus’ teaching and preaching. Just as Jesus came the first time He is coming the second time. The world wasn’t ready for Him the 1
It was predicted in the OT that Jesus, the Messiah would come the first time.
Isaiah 7:14 – “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
Isaiah 40:3-5 – “(3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (4) Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; (5) The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Micah 5:2 – “But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
John’s job was to prepare the way for the public ministry of Jesus. His teaching and preaching would set the stage for Jesus’ teaching and preaching.
Just as Jesus came the first time He is coming the second time. The world wasn’t ready for Him the 1st time and they probably want be ready for Him the 2nd time.
• One out of every 30 verses in the Bible mentions the subject of Christ’s return or the end of time.
• Of the 216 chapters in the NT, there are well over 300 references to the return of Jesus Christ.
• Only 4 of the 27 NT books fail to mention Christ’s return.
• That means one-twentieth of the entire NT is dedicated to the subject of our Lord’s return.
For 2,000 years, Christians have believed Jesus Christ would return to this earth, physically, in his “Second Coming,” in their generation. Even though Our Lord knew the church would not see that return for two millennia, He wanted each generation to live as though He could come at any time for motivational purposes. Our Lord knew He would “go into a far country. And after a great while…return and demand an accounting,” as He taught in His parables. He knew that routine living was an enemy to spiritual motivation in a physical universe. So He presented His Second Coming in such a way that Christians would be motivated to so live as though He would interrupt their lives & return before their natural life span had ended.
The apostles as well as the 1st century church lived with the expectation that Jesus would come during their lifetime. This expectation motivated them to live holy lives as well as dedicated lives to evangelism & reaching the world for Christ.
My question is: Where has that expectation gone as we are preparing to enter 1999? John was preparing the way of the Lord. What about us? The word “prepare” means “to make ready, to prepare. To make the necessary preparations, to get everything ready. Metaphorically it means to prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception.”
Do we really live as if Jesus were coming back? Do we really expect that He will come back in our live time? I believe that if we did live like this it would change the way we live dramatically.
Just as the Bible promised He would come the first time it has also promised that He will come the second time.
The Bible says: Luke 21:36 – “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
1 Peter 4:7 – “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.”
Twas The Night Before Jesus Came
Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!
The light of His face made me cover my head