Continuing on in John 1…
So imagine you are born as a Jew into the world around 3AD, and as you grow up you are taught the truth of Judaism. You embrace Judaism, and Jehovah God. And as you grow up you hear your family talking; they speak of the Messiah being already born, and of salvation for the Jews finally being at hand.
Now imagine what it would have been like to read Isaiah 40:1-2:
“Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD’s hand
double for all her sins.”
Imagine you’re trying to work through all that, not knowing what we in the 21st century know about Jesus and His blood. The passage is talking about something big, about a change. God Himself is going do something amazing for His people.
Then you read the next three verses:
“A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” “
Wouldn’t you be eager to hear this voice? Wouldn’t you want to find the one calling out? Now imagine, if you can, that you are told that you are to be that voice! And it’s not just some dude coming up to you and saying “Hey, what if…” You know without a shadow of a doubt that this passage is speaking specifically, directly, and exclusively about you. You!
There’s a prophecy about you in the Holy Writ. People have been reading this for hundreds of years and wondering who it would be. When it would be. How it would happen… Well, now you must show them.
That’s a lot to take in for one sitting.
And then imagine that you continue in your walk with God, learning more about His word. You have to now view Scripture knowing that you are a part of it in a way that’s different. Your free will choices will prove the prophecy true, and you know that somehow it will not be any other way. You read on about the Messiah, and now you must think about your direct involvement with Him here on earth. For you are the one who is to reveal Him to Israel.
You are John the Baptist, the voice in the desert.
What a life directing event! What a mind-altering realization!
What a burden…
What an honor!!
So John followed what the Scripture said he would do. He revealed the Christ, who by the way happened to be a man he was related to. It’s hard for me to put myself in John’s position. The man from the prophecy in Isaiah 40. The man who would show the world who the Messiah was.
I don’t know how exactly how John found out this passage was about Him. But one didn’t just go around Jerusalem claiming to be the voice in Isaiah 40. One didn’t casually go around declaring who the Messiah was. And we see the humility John displays when they asked who he was; he said he’s not even worthy of loosing a sandal strap. This wasn’t a man who had any reason to doubt the fact, or a proud man looking to pull one over on people. Somehow John knew for sure that he was the one the Scripture spoke about.
Can you imagine?