“Preparing the Way for a King”

Before Jesus began His earthly ministry, John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way. John was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah (Isa.40:3). His was the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight His paths.” In ancient days, the route of a king was cleared of any obstacles so that he could more easily make his way into a city. John was preparing the way for King Jesus, not by smoothing bumps on the road or flattening curves, but by warning of judgment and preaching repentance. John the Baptist was preparing the people of Israel to receive Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah, and enter His kingdom (Mat 3:1-12). Those who repented of and confessed their sins were baptized by John as a sign of their repentance and readiness to receive the Messiah. John said, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you will the Holy Spirit and fire” (Mat.3:11).
As prophesied in the Old Testament, the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth will be preceded by judgment (Dan.2:44, 7:13-14; Zec.14:1-9, 16-17). The wrath of God was coming, and John urged the people to repent of their sins and bear fruit worthy of repentance. The kingdom, for which Jesus asked us to pray, will some day be established upon the earth (Mat.6:10). May we all be ready! Through believing in Jesus and repenting of our sins we will flee the wrath to come, and enter Christ’s eternal kingdom.