Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Voices in the Wilderness

John 1:15-23 

John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying: "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'"

And of His fulness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ."
And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?"
He said, "I am not."
"Are you the Prophet?"
And he answered, "No."
Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?"
He said, "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of The Lord,"' as the prophet Isaiah said."

John, the baptizer, was the man sent by God to make the way for Jesus. This is not the same John as the one who wrote the Book of John. John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin, so we are told in Luke 1. Did He know this man to whom he alerted people was the same man? I'm not positive.

John lived in the wilderness of Judea some distance from Jerusalem where Jesus lived. It is not recorded whether they might have seen each other during their childhood. What's important is that John was sent to be a prophet of God to preach Jesus' coming, repentance for their sins and the ultimate baptism of all who listened and received his word. But John was adamant that he was not the Christ, just the voice of one calling in the wilderness to announce His coming and what He stood for.

Jesus did the same thing, except He declared He was the Son of God. He promised newness of life in Him.

Aren't we all called to be voices in the wilderness? Aren't we all, while not all prophets, called to show people Christ? To preach that Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life. To preach that in Christ our sins are forgiven, to preach baptism when we come to this revelation. John did it, Jesus did it and so should we all be voices in the wilderness of this world that we live in. We wander in our own wilderness without Jesus. The wilderness becomes our promised land when we receive Christ.

Adam and Eve went from paradise to wilderness by their sin. God sent Jesus to reverse that, to bring new life. Heed the voices in the wilderness. Listen to the refreshing He will bring:

Isaiah 43:19-20 - Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, the jackals and the ostriches, because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen. 

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