"And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing." John 1:19-28
Who was John the Baptist? He confessed that he was not the Christ, he was not Elijah, nor was he the Prophet promised by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.
Who was John? He himself said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias" (cf. Isa. 40:3).
John was the messenger of God sent to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6; Luke 1:76-79; Matt. 11:14; 17:10-13). He prepared people for the coming of the Lord Jesus by calling upon all to repent of their sins and turn to the LORD God for forgiveness and life through faith in the Messiah who was about to appear and be offered up a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (cf. Luke 3:1ff.; John 1:29).
Who are we as Christ's Church in this world? What are we and all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to be in this world?
We are not the Christ and do not point to ourselves as the way of life, but we are a "voice ... crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord."
Through our called ministers, we continue to call upon all to repent of their sinful and rebellious ways and to look in faith to Christ Jesus, "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). We point people to Jesus, the only Hope and Savior of this lost and dying world!
Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Soon He will appear in the clouds with all His holy angels and every eye will see Him (cf. Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:29ff.)!
Until then, we continue to be God's voice, His witness, calling on all people to repent and believe on the LORD Jesus Christ (cf. Luke 24:46-47; Acts 1:8; 3:19-21). In Jesus' shed blood, there is forgiveness and life everlasting for all who repent and look to Him in faith for salvation (cf. John 3:14-18)!
Dear LORD Jesus Christ, grant us Your Holy Spirit and embolden us to be Your voice in this world, calling on all to repent and trust in You for forgiveness and life everlasting! Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]