The Voice of One
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isaiah 40:3
“He said: ‘I am “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ”Make straight the way of the LORD,” as the prophet Isaiah said.’” John 1:23
John, also called the Baptist, the son of Zacharias and Elizabeth was a pivotal figure in the life of Israel and the coming Messiah. Only 6 months older than Jesus he was also a near kinsman because of Mary’s lineage. John is the son born to Elizabeth and Zacharias in their old age. His birth marks the restoration of communication between God and His people Israel after 400 years of silence.
John is the son of answered prayer because Zacharias and Elizabeth had no children. They had prayed for many years but Elizabeth was barren until the time an angel of the Lord appeared to Zacharias as he served in the Temple at the Altar of Incense offering up prayers to God for the people and for himself.
John is the last, and by Jesus’ own testimony, the greatest of all the prophets. He comes as the voice of one crying in the wilderness, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”
At his birth the angel declared concerning him that his name would be John, meaning, “Yaweh (The Lord) has shown Favor” (Grace). And further,
“And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:14-17
The message of John in our story is that He would be highly regarded in the sight of the Lord,
For he will be great in the sight of the Lord…
Yes, Jesus loved him and called him the greatest prophet, but in the sight of men he was a thorn, especially to those who were willfully and determined to be wrapped in their sin and disregard for God.
and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink…
John was a man of restraint and strict discipline to fulfill his calling, He was not given to being ruled over by the passions of his flesh or impressed by the fleeting pleasures of the world. His calling was certain and sure and he would not waiver from his commitment or his message.
He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb…
From the moment Mary greeted Elizabeth when she was in the sixth month of her pregnancy, before she could speak another word the babe leaped in her womb and Elizabeth (and John in the womb) was filled with the Holy Spirit. John’s life was a witness to his generation and ours of the power of God working in one man to fulfill the purpose and plan of God in the world. John preached, prophesied, baptized and received revelation by and through the power of the Holy Spirit. He heard the voice of God speaking to him concerning Jesus, Who He really was and Who He really is.
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God…
Those who earnestly awaited and longed for the coming Messiah heard and headed the message of John that the Day of the Lord was at hand; that the Day of the Lamb of God Who would take away the sins of the world was here. John warned of the coming judgment of God against all sin and the Day of Vengeance against all evil in the world. And many in Israel heard the call of John to repent and came to him to repent of their sins and be baptized.
He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
John was the incarnation of the spirit of Elijah and like Elijah he came to prophecy concerning the state of things in his generation and the things to come in the Days of the Lord when the Messiah would be revealed and bring the presence of the Lord to all Israel, to young and old alike. He came to turn their hearts away from the futility of worldly pursuits to be earnestly seeking and expecting the coming Messiah; to prepare them to recognize Him and follow after Him; to not miss their visitation when the acceptable time would be available to them to be restored to their place of favor and righteousness with God. He came preaching to them to turn their hearts away from disobedience to embrace the wisdom of the just, the wisdom of the righteousness of God.
John was the voice of one, who earnestly, humbly, simply and faithfully pursued and fulfilled his calling to proclaim the coming Messiah. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”
And we too are called individually to be the voice of one and collectively, as the church, to be of one voice to the world declaring to this generation the coming again of our Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, not as the babe in the manger but as the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords in power and great glory to rule and reign over all the earth.
“The kingdoms of this world are become
The kingdoms of our Lord,
And of His Christ.
And He shall reign forever and ever. Rev. 11:15