[The following devotional is a part of our 2014 Advent Devotional Guide. We will be posting a devotional each day on this blog between November 30 – December 31, 2014.]
Opening Act by Mark Robinson
Read: Luke 1:5-25
All four Gospels begin the story of Jesus with the story of John the Baptist. Do you find that odd? Only one Gospel mentions the shepherds. One Gospel mentions the Magi. One Gospel tells Joseph’s back story. One Gospel mentions Mary’s story. No Gospels mention the Little Drummer Boy, yet EVERY Gospel mentions John the Baptist. This indicates to us that there is something important about John’s life. But what is it?
The Gospel accounts all tell us the same story. John came in the “spirit of Elijah” as the “opening act” to Jesus of Nazareth. Before Jesus would take the stage and reconcile us to God, John came to help get us ready.
John was to showcase God’s Truth in front of a large audience, while prepping the people for the Main Show. His message of repentance helped remind people of their need that Jesus would meet. The water baptism he offered, gave people a chance to pull out of their orbit around self-righteous religion, and seek new life in God. John talked about Messiah coming soon, recreating or reinforcing the true hope for the people of Israel. John did this job, and he did it very well. When Jesus finally “takes the stage” after His baptism in the Jordan River, God’s people were more ready to respond based on the preparation they received from the opening act. As Luke 1:17 says, John was “to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
This Christmas, as you flip through the first few pages of each Gospel to get to the headlining event, don’t just skip over the story of John the Baptist. God wanted every heart to prepare room for Messiah, so He sent John ahead to make those arrangements.
- If you are in a relationship with Christ today, no doubt you too had an opening act that God used in your life to prepare you for Jesus. God uses a variety of things/people/experiences to prepare us for Him. For the Israelites of the first century, John was the opening act . . . who did God use in your life to prepare the way for Jesus?
- Is there anyone in your life right now that God might want to use you as an “opening act” to help lead them to Christ?
- Pray for someone in your life that you would like to help lead to a relationship with Christ this Advent season.