Preparing for the King

John was sent by God to “Prepare the way of the LORD,” in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3. How did he seek to get people ready for the coming of Jesus, the long-promised Messiah and Savior of Israel? By calling upon them to repent of their sins, and give proof of that change of heart by submitting to water baptism and bearing “fruits worthy of repentance” (3:8). From this we learn that: - If we want to know Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we must humble ourselves before His holiness. That gate is narrow that leads to life, and only those who admit their transgressions, mourn over them, and look to Christ alone for salvation from them, will enter the kingdom. - If we truly hate our wrongdoing, we shall forsake the love of this world and join John and his eager listeners in the wilderness – that is, we shall consider the glitz, the glamour, and the “good things” of life less valuable than getting right with God. - True contrition for evil thoughts and deeds will produce a changed life, by the power of faith in Christ and His indwelling Spirit (as we shall see when we look at verse 11). - If we want to help others to prepare for the coming of Christ, then we must, like John, conduct ourselves in a way that differs from those around us. Not, probably, by dressing differently, as John did (3:4) – although our clothing should be simple and modest - but certainly by denying ourselves many legitimate pleasures and privileges.