Calling all Messengers!
Have you ever considered yourself a messenger? When I was younger, I used to participate in Renaissance Fair and re-enactment, and at one point acted as a herald for someone important. My job was to call out and announce that this person was coming, and to prepare everyone for their arrival.
John the Baptist was such a person for Jesus, and his message was not always pleasant. As a matter of fact, his message dealt with the 2 major problem facing everyone! The Sin problem (repent), and the Death problem (for the kingdom of heaven is at hand).
We all sin, and fall short of God's glory, and so we're born in to death, as sin separates us from our Lord, and death is the reward for our iniquity. But thank the Lord that He provided the way out! Through His son, Jesus Christ, and His sacrifice on the cross, by His blood shed on that hill, and His walking out of the tomb 3 days later, we are saved.
So now that we're saved, it is our task to be the Heralds of Jesus. He's coming back, get ready! And how can we get ready? BY giving our lives to Him, since He gave His life for us! He can remove our Sin, our guilt, and shame, as far as the East is from the West, and we no longer bear it! Let us go boldly in to the world, as John did, and call sinners to repentance, sharing the Gospel Message and bringing people to Jesus Christ!
From Luke 3 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, while Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, God’s word came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the vicinity of the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight! 5 Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low; the crooked will become straight, the rough ways smooth, 6 and everyone will see the salvation of God.
7 He then said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance. And don’t start saying to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 9 Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What then should we do?” the crowds were asking him.
11 He replied to them, “The one who has two shirts must share with someone who has none, and the one who has food must do the same.”
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 He told them, “Don’t collect any more than what you have been authorized.”
14 Some soldiers also questioned him: “What should we do?”
He said to them, “Don’t take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages.”
15 Now the people were waiting expectantly, and all of them were debating in their minds whether John might be the Messiah. 16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with water, but One is coming who is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandals. He will baptize you with[n] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing shovel is in His hand to clear His threshing floor and gather the wheat into His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with a fire that never goes out.” 18 Then, along with many other exhortations, he proclaimed good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, being rebuked by him about Herodias, his brother’s wife, and about all the evil things Herod had done, 20 added this to everything else—he locked John up in prison.