This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”
A Massive Construction Project
John the Baptist’s job was to ready the people for the arrival of Jesus, the Savior of the world. John told the people to make straight paths, lower the mountains, and raise the valleys.
A few years ago, I watched a construction crew remove a small hill to make a field level. It seemed like only a minor project. And yet an excavator operator filled dozens and dozens of dump trucks as he worked at leveling that field. What seemed like a small project for a very small hill took a week to remove the dirt, level, and smooth the field. Now imagine what it would take to level a mountain and fill in a valley! It would be a massive construction project!
But the prophet Isaiah and John the Baptist weren’t talking about excavators and dump trucks. They were talking about human hearts. The truth is, our hearts are anything but straight and level. We have hearts filled with sin, anger, resentment, jealousy, and self-righteous pride. Our hearts don’t require just a little preparation; they need mountains torn down and valleys filled in.
John describes a heart construction project that is humanly impossible! It cannot be done. And that is John’s point. Preparing hearts like ours for the coming of the King is a job that is too big for us.
But the Holy Spirit makes our hearts a ready place for the King. The King comes with promises. Do you know what promises he brings to you? Forgiveness. Think about what this means. Jesus comes to bring you release from your shame, pardon from your guilt, and a clean slate with God. Jesus has come to change the world; and he starts by changing you. From wrecked to redeemed. From sinner to saint. From guilty to glory.
Dear Lord, prepare my heart for your coming. Clean out my sins and give me a heart with a throne only for you. Amen.