The Jews endured by holding on to a promise delivered by the prophet Malachi, “Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me” (Malachi 3:1). Without that sustaining promise, the temptation to give into despair might have been overwhelming.
The day finally came when the last divinely sanctioned prophet of the Old Testament era arrived on the scene. There was no fanfare, even though this moment had been greatly anticipated for hundreds of years. The Bible simply states, “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6).
Consider the ministry of John the Baptist. As far as the biblical record goes -
- He did not perform any miracles
- He did not plant any churches
- He did not build any Bible schools
- He did not travel extensively
- There’s no indication he had any visions
- He did not write any books much less a book of the Bible
- He didn’t even have a radio or television ministry
And yet this man accomplished much for God. He also received a pretty high commendation from Jesus. “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11).
So what was so amazing about John’s ministry? Strap on your seatbelt because it’s pretty radical. He testified to the truth (John 5:33). John entered a world of darkness and told people the truth about Jesus. And for that, Jesus gave him a glowing report.
As his fame increased, John the Baptist was pressed with questions.”Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” (John 1:22) But John refused the temptation to become the center of attention. He wouldn’t even give his name. John deflected the spotlight by stating, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness: make straight the way of the Lord” (John 1:23). Did you hear that? Not a face. Not a name. Just a voice. That was John’s mission, and he fulfilled it.
Like John the Baptist, you and I have been sent by God into a world of darkness to be a witness for Jesus Christ. Our job is to tell others the truth about Jesus. Start with your immediate surroundings and go from there. Be bold and speak up. And don’t talk yourself out of the calling. Be the voice of one crying in the wilderness. As seen in the life and ministry of John, it’s amazing what God can do with one voice.
Pastor Todd Weston