Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Make Ready the Way





Scripture

as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.
(Luke 3:4 NASB)

Observation

The prophet Isaiah had said that there would be one who would cry out in the wilderness. John the Baptist was that man. The message was to make ready the way for the one who was coming. How was that to happen? His paths were to be made straight, the valleys were to be filled in, the high places to be leveled out and the crooked places straight. It was a commentary on the actual physical preparation of a community for the arrival of the King. The road needed to be completely repaired before the King would come. You didn't want the King to be traveling on a bad road that had lots of curves and ups and downs to it. Instead you did everything that you could to make the road as nice as possible. It was as straight as possible, and the low spots were filled in, while you cut paths through the mountainous regions -- all in an effort to make it easy for the King to arrive. This was the message that John was preaching to the people of his day.

Application

John knew that the Messiah was coming soon. The best way for people to be prepared to receive him was to get the obstacles out of their lives. They were repenting and being baptized. They weren't accepting Christ as the Messiah, but rather, they were simply getting back on track from where they'd been in their lives. So many had wandered away from what God had intended for his children. Simply heading again in the right direction made it possible for them to make the path straight -- so that when the Messiah came, they would see him for who he was and be ready to accept him.

I believe that followers of Christ are also called to prepare the way. That means preparing the way for those who need to find the Messiah. We are called to make the paths straight, to level out the low places, and take the bends out of the road. Sometimes Christians are the boulders in the road that keep people from finding Christ. Sometimes it's our attitudes or the impression that we may give off that we are "holier" than others that becomes the obstacle. Or maybe it's the Church, itself that makes the path difficult. Do we make it too hard to find Christ because the road through the Church is so complicated that it would take a road map to even know if Jesus, Himself were there. We are called to prepare the way for the Messiah. Get rid of anything that would lead someone down the wrong path, and make the way to Him simple and clear!

Prayer

Lord, please help me examine my own life for the boulders which may be in the way of others finding you. Amen.

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