A Voice in the Wilderness
Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.”
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
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’”
This passage about the voice in the wilderness refers to John the Baptist, who, by all appearances, was fulfilling the Jewish Scriptures’ prophecy about Elijah. John was preaching the repentance of sin. By repenting of our sin, we prepare ourselves to have an encounter with Jesus, the Messiah of Israel.
- What is a prophet?
- How can you tell that John the Baptist is not claiming to be Elijah or a prophet?
- Who is crying in the wilderness? MALACHI 3:1
See, I will send My messenger, who will prepare the way before Me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:1).
The children of Israel had been looking for the Messiah ever since they left Egypt. The language here points to the immediacy of the Lord’s soon-coming return. Israel was expectantly listening for the voice. This same voice has called to you. It beckons you to follow.
- Can you find, in both passages, the one who is to come?
- Does John the Baptist prepare the way for the coming of Messiah?