The Voice of One
The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. ~Mark 1:3
The ministry of John the Baptist brought a close to the Old Testament and was the bridge opening up the New Testament. John was a very illustrious and, even, somewhat peculiar personality. He was a burning and shining light who pointed the people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Mark speaks of him as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness.”
We see the preparation.
John’s life and ministry is prophesied of in the Old Testament books of Isaiah and Malachi. His ministry was to prepare the hearts of the people of Israel for the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry was designed to get everyone ready for Jesus. He was the King’s herald announcing Jesus’ arrival and that every heart should be ready to receive Him. What a powerful statement about life’s purpose. Are you preparing hearts to receive the Lord?
We see the preaching.
He preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. His preaching called on men to identify with his message by being baptized. This meant that the person knew that he was a sinner who needed the Lord’s forgiveness of his sins. His preaching cut away at the hypocrisy and playacting of the day. It told men to get serious about the Lord and to prove it by identifying through baptism. He lifted up Jesus as high and preeminent. He told men that he was not worthy to tie up the latchets on Jesus’ sandals. His preaching and style was in the spirit and power of Elijah. As a preacher, he was lone, loud, leading, and the Lord’s.
We see the practices.
Those who responded to his message of repentance were baptized. So, in addition to his much preaching, he baptized many people who were looking for the coming of our Lord. His preaching and ministry was in the desert. People came from extensive distances to hear John preach. He was trained to preach for decisions. He was articulate, convicting, and focused. Nothing could steer him off course. Nothing could discourage him to quit what he was doing. He was a holy man filled with a holy message.