Lent Day 2–Job One

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'”

John 1:19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.'” 24 Now some Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

Who are you and what are you doing?

Imagine how John the Baptist felt.  Commissioned to the desert, set apart as the forerunner of Jesus Christ, John had a job to do: Prepare the way for the LORD.  Yet, people wanted to know about John instead.  Are you the Christ?  Are you Elijah?  Are you the Prophet?  The priests and Levites simply wouldn’t take “No” for an answer.

But John had a vision of what it meant to prepare the way.  

In response to the game of twenty questions, he points to the coming Messiah and says in effect:

  • It’s not about me!
  • I am just a messenger.  The one you should be concerned about is the Lord.  He’s coming!  I’ve got a work project underway to make a level path…since there are no such things as “down-and-dirty” Vegas places where you sin and it stays there; no room for mountains of pride or greed; and no road bumps of law-breaking, envy, or gossip!  I’m just a contractor, building a suitable highway for our God!
  • I baptize with water for repentance, but the one you should be concerned about is the Lord.  Water baptism is nothing compared to His baptizing with fire and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:1-12).  His winnowing fork will judge our hearts when He comes.  It’s urgent!  Repent!
  • You’re asking me a bunch of questions, but consider this instead: the Kingdom of heaven is near.  There is One in your midst but you don’t even see Him.  He’s holy and the One you should be concerned about!   Repent!

John knew he was looking for the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 3:29) and that Job One was: Prepare the Way.

As we prepare the way for the Lord during Lent, let’s ask ourselves:

In my life, is Job One all about Him…or all about me?

Do I take sin and judgment seriously?

Do I see the urgency of repentance?

If He were to return today, would He find a level path straight to my heart…or a way blocked by obstacles of pride, selfishness, greed, anger, or jealousy?

John would say, “Prepare the Way.”  Repent today.  The Kingdom of heaven is near.

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on March 10, 2011

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