Summary: Looking at John the Baptist, as he prepared the way for Jesus Christ.
Preparing “The Way”
The title of this message is “Preparing the Way” and if you have your Bibles please go with me to Mark, Chapter 1.
If you will recall, last Sunday we discussed Abraham and his willingness to be faithful to God in all things; even when it came to sacrificing his own son. Of course he was rewarded for his faithfulness and God provided the sacrifice in the form of a ram.
This past Wednesday we discussed the importance of needing to have a broken spirit as you come into the presence of the Lord; and two weeks ago we talked of the encouragement that God has given us through those who have come before us in servanthood to Him.
Just before we discuss the importance of the Christmas gift (next week’s message), I want to look at the importance of one more man’s testimony as he faithfully and diligently prepared the way for the One who would come after him; One that was promised from the beginning of time for mankind; and One who would deliver us all from our own sinful ways.
Read Mark 1:1-8
Point 1 – A prophecy declared and revealed
Isaiah prophesized about one being given unto this earth thousands of years before John was ever called into the ministry. (Isaiah 53)
However, Isaiah 40 gives us a view into the future of one man whose sole purpose is to declare and prepare the world for the arrival of the Messiah. John was a bold man, who pulled no punches, and who declared that the only way to live is to repent, and be baptized, period.
He added no flair, no special effects, just admit that you need to change and come to God out of obedience to His will, and not your own. (Repent = Turn away)
Remember that Isaiah was a man who was unclean – a man who considered himself ruined because he had seen the Lord and he knew who he was. (Ref: Isaiah, Chapter 6)
But, God sent an angel to cleanse him from all unrighteousness, and Isaiah was anointed in a way that allowed him to obey the Lord’s calling when God asked, “Who will I send?” Isaiah answered that call willingly, because he had been made whole again.
IMPORTANT: Because of Isaiah’s faithfulness to the Lord, John the Baptist was able to begin and complete his ministry in the face of the religious and the unbelievers. Isaiah declares that this one would be “a prophet crying out in the wilderness, preparing a way for the Lord”.
John was simply a messenger to all that would hear. This morning, you are also a messenger that God could use to prepare the way for the Lord. We have been promised in the Word that Jesus will return for His church – and we should be preparing the way for the Lord today. The only way to prepare the way … is to obey the call.
Point 2 – Obeying the call
John went forth in this world preaching repentance, and baptizing all in the name of Lord. We see clearly that he was a humble man, of very little means, and even his clothes and diet were of no consequence.
However, what John had was willingness – and faithfulness to carry out God’s calling.
John declares that one will come after him that will baptize with the Holy Ghost.