BY: Jess Hammond
I love the holidays; spending time with family and friends.
I find myself looking around realizing just how blessed I am with the amazing people surrounding me; it truly is the most wonderful time of the year! But, if you are hosting any of these parties, you know that the preparation that goes into it can be stressful and never ending! It takes a lot of work planning, cleaning, prepping food, gift exchanges, etc. It’s not something that you can just wing, nor would you want to. When you are the host, you want to make sure you have thought through everything.
The Father purposefully thought out every detail of His Son’s earthly arrival. He wanted His people to be ready when the Savior came, so He wove into this salvation story a messenger that would alert them to the Messiah’s arrival.
Albert Barnes, in his commentary on Isaiah 40, gave this image of what it meant to prepare the way for the Messiah: “The idea is taken from the practice of Eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered on a journey or an expedition, especially through a barren and unfrequented or inhospitable country, sent harbingers [forerunners] or heralds before them to prepare the way. To do this, it was necessary for them to provide supplies, and make bridges, or find fording places over the streams; to level hills, and construct causeways over valleys, or fill them up; and to make a way through the forest which might lie in their intended line of march.”
The Jewish people had been waiting for centuries for the promised Messiah.
It had been over 400 years since God had last spoken to them through a prophet, and they were desperate to hear from Him. John’s message broke that silence. His message, although very offensive for some, was life changing for many others. His message was simple: “Repent! Turn from your sin, come back to God. Prepare your hearts to receive the Savior, He is coming!”
There were heart preparations that needed to be made because Christ ultimately wanted to make His home in the heart of every man, woman, boy and girl (Ephesians 3:17).
John’s message still calls to us today: Prepare Him room. Repent, turn from anything that is not of Him, seek Him first, obey what He has commanded, because Jesus said, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23).
How can you prepare your heart to better hear the voice of Jesus?