Saturday, December 3, 2022

Advent Words ~ Word 4: Prepare


Word 4: Prepare

John the Baptist

“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 3:1

The prophet Malachi promised the people of Israel that a messenger would come that would prepare the way for the Lord, he would prepare the way for the great king. In ancient days when a royal procession was traveling a messenger would go before them announcing their arrival and removing any obstacles from the road they were to travel on. He prepared the way before the king.

It is believed that Malachi was the last prophet of the Lord before the birth of Christ, a span of 400 years in which God was silent.

This prophecy is proclaimed to be fulfilled before Jesus’ birth by Zechariah, John the Baptist’s father, who was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied’:

“And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins.” Luke 1:76-77

All three of the Synoptic gospels declare John the Baptist to be the fulfillment of the prophecy. He is the messenger that would prepare the people for the Messiah’s ministry.

"In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, "repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near." This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: 

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’ “ Matthew 3:1-3

John the Baptist’s role of preparing the people was to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of God is near’ (Matthew 3:2), preaching ‘a baptism for the forgiveness of sins’ (Mark 1:2-4 and Luke 3:2-6) that would come through Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

Our role in observing the Advent season is to prepare the way for the Lord as well – in our own hearts, in the heart of our home, and in the lives of the people we encounter every day. To declare “Joy to the world, the Lord is come”!


Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King.
Let every heart prepare Him room.
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing!

Written by Isaac Watts, 1791, Inspired by Psalm 98

No comments:

Post a Comment