One Crying

One Crying

22 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?” 23 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 1:22-23

It’s really interesting how John focuses so much on John the Baptist at the beginning of Jesus’ gospel. John understood just how vital John was to Jesus’ story. Jesus did not have an easy time in his ministry but it could have been much worse without John’s pre-work.

John says that he was called as a voice in the wilderness to straighten the path for the coming Messiah. What exactly does that mean? Well, what exactly did John do before Jesus?

There are two main works that are listed with John. The first and most famous is his baptism. The second was his preaching about repentance. In reality, both worked together and had the same purpose. Repentance really was the main word for John. He tried to show the people of Israel that things were not good with the people of God. Although the festivals, traditions and sacrifices were done as usual, there was something rotten in the earthly house of God.

What’s interesting is that people deep down knew that John was right which is why his message hit so hard and resonated so much with the people of God. They knew that what they did was more a habit than a sincere act of worship. They needed to take God and religion more seriously.

Without this truth, Jesus coming into the world would not make much of a difference. If people didn’t really care about God or the church, it wouldn’t have mattered what Jesus said. He would just be another voice in a multitude. But with John’s words or warning and alert, people suddenly opened their eyes and ears. They were now worried and hungry for a word that could save them. They were ready for something new.

And now to us. Can we too sometimes fall into the trap of repetition and habit? Can we sometimes feel too comfortable with our lifestyle and religion? Keep in mind that the opposite can also be true and dangerous. We should never fear so much for our salvation that it takes away our faith in what Christ can do, but we can also not take him for granted.

May we all have some of John’s words in the coming year so that our eyes and ears can be open to the work that God wants to do in our lives.

God bless,

Pr. Steven Couto