John the Baptist announces the coming of the Messiah, who frees us from guilt and renews us.
A story that has been told from the beginning of the era, through all ages, and all over the world, that must be a very special story.
Well, the Gospel really is! Gospel means: Glad tidings, it is a message that brings happiness. It is about God, who brings salvation to people, the highest well-being and happiness, also within!
The world should hear about it. This happened in the days of John, and it is still happening today. God’s Good News brought about a lot of commotion among the people. But the Gospel is not a revolution, for it ties in with the history, and line of what God has done and said.
The Old Testament prophets had already spoken of this time. He would begin the startling action of the last prophet of the old covenant, who was also to announce the new time, and the new covenant. Thus he had to prepare the people for the coming of the promised Messiah or Christ, Jesus, the Son of God.
John, nicknamed “the Baptist,” was this messenger, herald, or “trailblazer” (Mark 1:1-3; Malachi 3: 1; Isaiah 40:3).
● In his appearance and performance, he recalled the great prophet Elijah (Mark 1:6; 2 Kings 1:8; Malachi 4:5,6; Luke 1:17).
● He lived in the wilderness, which was a picture of Israel’s shattered folk life.
● He appealed to the people and called them to repentance (Mark 1:4; Compare Joel 2:12,13). That is to say: everyone had to radically change their minds and start behaving completely differently. From a life without God (because that is actually sin!) To a life with God. Then the Lord could forgive sins.
Symbolically this was depicted by a baptism, a washing, in the river Jordan (Mark 1:5).
● But the spearhead of John’s message was that he was pointing to Him who would come after him, Jesus, whose name means “The Lord saves” (Matthew 1:21; Mark 1:7). He would make reality what John meant: Jesus completely frees you from your guilt and renews your life vigorously by the Holy Spirit (Mark 1:8; Compare Joel 2:28, 29; Jeremiah 31:31-34).
¹) A prophet is a person sent by the Lord to declare His word and will.
▪︎ ask the Lord to let you understand that you are needing cleansing and renewing, and that Jesus can give it to you.
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