Prepare the Way of the Lord

“A voice is calling, ‘Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. . . . Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together.’” (Isaiah 40:3, 5, NASB)

Over six hundred years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah predicted that John the Baptist would announce the arrival of Jesus as the promised Messiah. All four Gospels record Isaiah’s prophecy (Matt. 3:3, Mark 1:3, Luke 3:4–6, John 1:23). John the Baptist’s witness of the coming Messiah culminates when he proclaims, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). With these words, Jesus begins His public ministry and offers salvation to all those who believe in Him as Savior of the world.

Now, over two thousand years later, people everywhere are reminded each year at Christmastime of Jesus’ entrance into the world as a tiny baby. But John the Baptist reminds us of the reason for Jesus’ birth and life—to bring salvation to all humankind.

Just as God chose John the Baptist to prepare people for Jesus’ coming, God asks all believers to live lives and speak words that touch the hearts of those around them and draw attention to our Savior.

As you celebrate the birth of Jesus and plan towards a new year ahead, are you living a life that reflects your Savior and inspires others to want to either know Christ personally or grow in their relationship with Jesus? Does your life glorify God in the way you spend your time, in the way you speak to those inside and outside your circle of relationships, in the way you share your resources, and in the choices you make both publicly and privately?

John the Baptist “advertised” the coming of God into the world. What kind of advertisement does your life communicate about Jesus? Will others be drawn to Him or away from Him as they observe you? May this Christmas be a time of recommitment to faithfully reflect Jesus so that “all flesh will see the glory of the Lord.”