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)
Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist fulfilled one of Isaiah’s prophecies (Isaiah 40:3). As the prophet predicted, John lived in the wilderness, dressed in clothes made of camel’s hair, and wore a leather belt. Locust and wild honey became his diet. His message was a call to repentance—turning from sin back to God. He cautioned the people that the kingdom of God had come near. When the time had come, John baptized Jesus and proclaimed Him the Messiah (John 1:29-34). (All four gospels mention John the Baptist. Read about his miraculous birth in Luke 1 and about his ministry in John 1:19-34.)
While John called for repentance, Jesus came to fulfill that call in that without Jesus we cannot maintain a repentant heart. We, like the Israelites continuously turn from God to our own selfish desires. But through Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit to help us continue in the righteousness of the cross.
How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter R?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks