Obviously, with Christmas around the corner, most of us are focused on the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Around the same time, also announced by the angel Gabriel, was the birth of John the Baptist. Maybe its just me, but some passages of scripture just make me laugh. There stood Zachariah as Gabriel told him that he and Elizabeth were to have a son and Zachariah says "How can I be sure?".... Gabriel's response? "I'm Gabriel." As if to say, "You crusty old man! Do you know who you're talking to?" Right then, God took away Zachariah's ability to speak. Not only would he eventually get his voice back, but he would witness the birth of his son John the Baptist.
I believe the birth of John was a result of righteous living going as far back as Aaron. A legacy of love, if you will. Luke 1:15-17 says John would be great in the sight of the Lord and that he would bring back many of the people of Israel back to the Lord. He would also turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous. He would, in fact, "Go and make disciples...".
Before any of this would happen, scripture tells us that John lived in the wilderness. I believe this to be a geographical fact. When applied to ourselves, it's probably in reference to a spiritual wilderness. Most of us have, at some point, experienced a state of spiritual funk when we are aware of the voice of God but find ourselves doubting/disobeying because we can't make sense of it. As I've said in one of my earlier blogs, it's not always for us to understand. It is absolutely for us to obey. Luke 1:80 says that John made his first step into ministry when he matured. Maturity begins with obedience. Maturity begins when we humble ourselves before a far superior being and a supernatural love. Typically, it's after we surrender that God reveals to us the reason behind the command.
My prayer this Christmas is that we would put ourselves in the shoes of John, intently take that first step of obedience so that we, too, can live a life worthy of the title "righteous". Prepare the way of the Lord!