Preparing the Way
Malachi 3:1 (ESV)
“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.”
As we get ready to enter the Christmas season, let us not forget the many prophecies God gave His people concerning the arrival of Jesus Christ. In this passage in Malachi, we first hear about John the Baptist and how he will come before Christ to prepare the way. Besides being Jesus’ first cousin, why is John the Baptist that big of a deal? Well let’s look into that together.
Having to send John the Baptist go before Him, God is showing the power and authority of Christ in sending forth ministers before Him. The image is referring to kings and great men sending people before them when on a journey and to give notice of their coming. This was to show that Jesus is our king and whenever He enters our presence, someone below Him must announce His arrival. This is shown out of respect for the person coming into our world. God is among us, which is what Emmanuel means, “God with us.”
Having John the Baptist appear before men and women to declare the way is to also show that God has a plan. The prophecies all point to God carrying out a plan to save the world. It shows that He is prepared and He does everything with a meaningful purpose behind it. John came to lead people to repentance and announce that the kingdom of heaven is near. God is preparing our hearts for His arrival, so we can anticipate His presence with joy and hope.
It is so encouraging to know that God puts so much thought and care into our relationship with Him. He does everything He can to get our hearts ready for His redeeming love. That is why He came to earth. That is why we celebrate Christmas. God planned to save us from the start. He did so with grace and mercy, proving His faithfulness to us.
This week, take some time to pray about how you can prepare others for Christ this Christmas season. Do what you can to plant the seeds and then let Jesus take care of the rest.