In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,  “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1–3)
From the moment John the Baptizer was conceived, God had a mission for him: Prepare people to receive the Messiah, Jesus the Christ. Who did God send as “John the Baptizer” for you? Did our Lord send…
- Your parents, who presented you before the baptismal font?
- A middle school friend who invited you to this odd sounding class called “confirmation”?
- Your spouse who said that attending his or her church was neither optional nor debatable?
- A stranger who shared Jesus with you at a time when you were searching for direction in life?
- A co-worker who patiently answered your questions about God and faith until you just had to learn about Jesus?
If you are so blessed to still have a relationship with one or more of your “John the Baptizers,” Advent season is a perfect time to tell them “thank you” for sharing Jesus with me.
I have another question. To whom might you become a “John the Baptizer”?
- The fellow student who has never uttered a word about God or faith or church?
- The neighbor who has shared that he or she is going through a personal trial?
- The clerk at the store that you see at least once a week?
- The extended family member who has walked away from the faith?
- The grandchildren who are not yet baptized?
If you’re not certain who in your life does not yet know and believe in Jesus, ask God for guidance. Ask God to make clear to you who needs Jesus in your life. Ask God to open opportunities to talk with them about Jesus. Ask God to open their hearts for His Son.
What a tremendous blessing, for God to use us a “John the Baptizer” to a friend or family member!
(A Second Look devotions are available to the church-at-large while written for the congregations of the Ohio District LCMS.)