As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you withwater; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
In Mark’s account of the gospel he jumps right in to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry which begins with John the Baptist. This was the fulfillment of prophecy, as it says in Isaiah he was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah that Jesus is. Now John was doing what had not been done before he proclaimed a baptism for the forgiveness of sin. What is interesting is the description of John being a wild man living in the wilderness dining on locusts and wild honey. What a sight! Yet the people flocked to him to be baptized so their sins could be forgiven.
You see, up until then no one had ever proclaimed the forgiveness of sin in anyway but by God’s law which only defines sin; it does not offer forgiveness. So John’s message was to prepare the people for Jesus’ message of repentance and acceptance of him as the Messiah for the forgiveness of all sin, for all time and that his death and resurrection was the last sacrifice that would ever be needed.
I do hope that you will find the peace this Christmas that only can come from knowing Jesus as Messiah, Lord and Savior. This, my friends is the reason for the season. May the love of my Lord Jesus and his grace and mercy penetrate your heart, mind and soul this year and forever more.