A Man Named John
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe.”1
Six months before the birth of Jesus was announced, the angel Gabriel appeared to a man named Zechariah; a man well-along in years. The angel brought him a message of hope, telling him that he and his wife, Elizabeth, were going to be parents! It wasn’t the news that was hard to believe, it was more the timing that made Zechariah question. “Are you sure you have the right person? We’re so old!” (Luke 1:18) They were both admirable Senior citizens of their community and a baby wasn’t exactly the message that Zechariah had expected to hear that day, nevertheless they accepted their news and awaited the birth of their baby boy – a boy named John. After Elizabeth’s pregnancy, we don’t hear of this baby again in Scripture until 30 years later.
All grown up now, God came to John who was living in the wilderness. God told John that it was time to “prepare the way” for His Son, Jesus! (Whom incidentally was also John’s earthly cousin, Luke 1:36). John had waited his whole life for this moment, and he accepted his mission excitedly! He traveled from town-to-town proclaiming Salvation; urging all to repent from their sins and be baptized. He was not concerned for those who would contradict him or try to silence him; he made noise wherever he went for he needed the people to know that Salvation was on His way.
The people of John’s time lived very much like most of us today; busy with everyday tasks, getting on with life, working their jobs, making a living, not giving much thought to God’s plan for the world. People had heard that a Messiah was coming; it was written in Scripture. Most knew the laws of Moses and the way God wanted them to live. But until John started shouting it from the rooftops, did they really start to pay attention! Those familiar words proclaimed so long ago, by the prophet Isaiah, were now being yelled in their ears: Repent! John wasn’t about to sugar-coat such an important truth. He was bold, fiery even, NOW was the time of repentance! Many thought he was crazy, and others sought to kill him, but John did not back down, until the day that he looked up from his preaching and saw Salvation walking through the crowd. The time had come, and JESUS had arrived! A man named John prepared the way.
It is no different today and the time to repent is now! It is up to you and me to prepare the way and boldly go out into this world and shout that Jesus is coming again. Let us make ready to receive Him – Be that man named John.
Dear Lord, you will return, your Word has promised it. Give me the courage to be bold and show others the way to you. Our time runs out and this world needs more “Johns” to prepare the way. Use me to make the way straight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 1:6-7 (NIV).
Today’s Encounter was written by: Veronica B.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.