Jn.1:19,20 – This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny; and this is what he confessed: “I am not the Christ.”
John was a voice crying in the wilderness, that is exactly what this generation has to become, a voice crying out preparing the way for the coming King. How was he preparing Israel for their Messiah? He was calling them to repentance, not exactly what people want to hear. Then he called them to baptism and the washing away of their sins. This baptism really had two functions; it spoke of the cleansing of sin and it was a prophetic demonstration of what the Messiah would do, immerse us into the very presence of God. Here is how Barclay describes the ministry of John.
“John was what every true preacher and teacher ought to be – only a voice, a pointer to the King. The last thing that he wanted anyone to do was to look at him; he wanted people to forget him and see only the King.
But the Pharisees were puzzled about one thing – what right had John to baptize? If he had been the Messiah, or even Elijah or the prophet, he might have baptized. Ezekiel had said: ‘I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean’. Zechariah had said: ‘On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity’. But why should John baptize?
What made the matter still more strange was this. This kind of baptism was not for Israelites at all. It was proselytes, incomers from other faiths, who were baptized. Israelites were never baptized; they were God’s already and did not need to be washed. But Gentiles had to be washed in baptism. John was making Israelites do what only Gentiles had to do. He was suggesting that the chosen people had to be cleansed. That was indeed precisely what John believed.”
John the Baptist really did prepare the way for the Messiah. He prophesied in a dry, dead society that had no prophet for 400 years. His dramatic and shocking appearance captured the attention of the nation. The towns, cities, and villages closed down from across the land to come hear John preach and to be baptized. The spiritual atmosphere was being changed, the people were being prepared for the ministry of Jesus.
Our country has gone through a spiritual dry season. The supernatural ministry of the church has been shrouded for a number of years. Something is changing, the culture is getting hungry for something real. The anointing of John, prepare the way of the Lord is falling on us. It’s time to call our nation to repentance and to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord. It’s time to step into those baptismal waters and receive the power of the Holy Spirit so we can prepare the way for the coming of the Lord.