Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Preparing the Way to See Jesus

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” (Matt. 1:1-3)

How was John preparing the way? He was baptizing people with a baptism of repentance, and he was preaching repentance. How does one prepare for the coming Messiah? How does one prepare a people to get ready for God whose ways are not their ways? You get them to turn around and change direction. It is the only way.

When Jesus came so many people missed who he was even though they were looking for the Messiah. They could not recognize him even when he was right in front of them. They were looking for the wrong thing. They were blinded and needed to repent. They needed to change what they were looking for. They needed to get rid of all the influences that kept them from seeing the Messiah. John helped them. He prepared the way.

We face the same problem today. Jesus has come, but Jesus gets viewed through different lenses. We make Jesus out to be whoever we want him to be. We pick out the sayings of his that we like and latch on to them. We ignore the sayings we do not like. Jesus is liberal or Jesus is conservative. Jesus is legalistic or Jesus is all love and no rules. If Jesus is just like us, then we are not following Jesus. If Jesus agrees with everything we agree with, then we are not following Jesus. Jesus challenged everyone he encountered. He made people rethink who they were and what they believed. He caused them to reconsider their allegiances. If Jesus is not doing that for us, then we are not following Jesus. Jesus will cause us to think differently and live differently. This is exactly what we need. Our opinions and beliefs will not save us. Our worldly allegiances will not save us. Only Jesus can save us, and we need to see him for who he truly is.

Who is Jesus?

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jesus is not a military leader or a political figure. Jesus does not come to destroy our enemies. Jesus is our Savior, and this is exactly what we need.

We need someone to save us from the principalities and powers at work in this world. We need someone to conquer Satan and save us from his evil ways. We need someone to overcome death and save us from its finality. We need someone to save us from our sins and transgressions. We need someone to save us from ourselves.

Jesus comes to take away our sins. This does not mean that he forgives us and we keep on being who we were, or we keep on doing what we did. It means he forgives us, and we become someone new, so we don’t keep on sinning and choosing the wrong path. We see differently. We think differently. We live differently. We become like Jesus. This is our salvation.

John comes to prepare the way for Jesus because people were not prepared. People were not ready. They had too many things blinding them to truth and what matters. Their wealth and desire for possessions stood in their way. Their political allegiances and longing for power stood in their way. Their hatred for others and thirst for revenge stood in their way. Their pride and wanting to be right stood in their way. John came preaching a message of repentance. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Prepare your hearts for the coming of the Messiah.

What is standing in our way? What Jesus are we following? Is it the one found in Scripture, the living Christ, or is it one picked up from the culture, one who looks exactly like us. There is only one Jesus that offers salvation. There is only one Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. 

Do you know him?

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