How do you know Jesus is really the Messiah? One of the primary validations for Jesus is the foretelling of his coming. Hundreds of years before the Word became flesh, and Mary cradled her baby boy in her arms, the prophets spoke of his coming. Yet, not only was the coming of Jesus foretold, but the coming of the forerunner, the man we know as John the Baptist.
John 1:19–34 provides an introduction to John the Baptist. When asked to identify himself he said, “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’” This was straight out of Isaiah 40:3, written hundreds of years before his birth.
What does he mean by “clearing the way,” or “making paths straight” as other translations might say? This refers to the fact that in the ancient world, before powerful people (like kings) would travel, a team would go and fix the road to wherever they were going ahead of time. This preparation is a great metaphor for John the Baptist’s role, preparing the hearts of the people and to establish himself as the prophesied one to identify Jesus. It was John, when he saw Jesus, who cried out, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” Jesus’ Messiah-ship was confirmed when “the Holy Spirit descended like a dove from heaven and rested upon him.” John the Baptist goes on to say, “I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”
Here is the most amazing thing, and probably the primary reason this story was included by the Apostle John; not only was prophecy fulfilled in Jesus, it was also fulfilled in John the Baptist, and yet (get ready for a repeated theme) the religious leaders missed it. These people had the tremendous honor to see prophetic scriptures fulfilled in their lifetime and they had no idea it was happening. Even when John the Baptist tells them who he is and who Jesus is, they still remain clueless.
We see this kind of cluelessness today, right? Despite the spiritual blindness all around us, God has called us to be witnesses in our world and to proclaim as with John the Baptist, “I testify that Jesus is the Chosen One of God.”
To whom can you testify about Jesus today?
By: Tyler Short