[John] said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:23
“Make straight the way of the Lord! The Lord is coming. You are going to meet with God!” John the Baptist’s message was urgent. “Something that has never happened in the history of the world is going to happen, and you had better be ready for it.” John’s message was so clear that it could be summarized in this single sentence.
John’s message involved a call to action: “Make straight the way of the Lord. Clear away the rubble. Get ready to meet with God.” And it was filled with hope. It was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Mark 1:4).
The response to John’s ministry was remarkable. People came to John in vast numbers. Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him (Mat. 3:5). People who came wanted to confess their sins.
These people knew enough to realize that if they were to meet God, they had better do some confessing and repenting to get ready. Many people have a profound awareness of their own need to get right with God, “I believe in God, but I have not been walking with him. I am not at peace. I don’t feel clean. Things are not right between me and God.”
People hear that a man is saying, “We need to get ready to meet with God. Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.” So they respond, “That is what I need to do. Pack your bags, kids, we are going for a trip to the desert.”
How about you? What would you need to do to get ready to meet with God?