The Man Who Prepares Freeway for His Master

John“I was Blind, Now I See”. Read more ... » 1:6-8, 19-28

By Rev. Dr. Sergio E. ArevaloTuloy Po Kayo! (Welcome!). Read more ... », Jr.

Dec. 14, 2014 (3rd Sunday of AdventThe Son Will be Coming Soon with Power and Glory. Read more ... »)

voiceinthewilderness1

Introduction

The nameHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... » Osama Bin Laden is still ringing in our ears since he masterminded a lot of bombings in many countries, especially at US properties. On August 7, 1998, bombs exploded simultaneously at the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, where 213 people were killed and 4,500 were injured, and Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, where 11 people were killed and 85 were injured. Al-Qaida took credit for the bombings.

Then, on October 12, 2000, a small boat loaded with explosives plowed into the hull of the U.S.S. Cole, an American naval destroyer docked off the coast of Yemen. 17 sailors were killed and 38 were injured. Bin Laden took credit for that incident as wellJesus’ Strategy of Evangelism. Read more ... ».

A federal grand jury in the United States indicted bin Laden on charges related to the embassy bombings, but with no defendant there could be no trialMy Prayer During the 2014 National Day of Prayer Celebration . Read more ... ».

In August 2010, they traced bin Laden to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, about 35 miles from Islamabad. For months, CIA agents watched the houseHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... » while drones photographed it from the skyCreatio ex Nihilo: Creation Through Amazing Words and Power. Read more ... ».

Finally, it was timeThey Complain to the Landowner Simply Because He is Generous and Fair to All His Laborers. Read more ... » to move.  On May 01, 2011, PresidentMy Prayer During the 2014 National Day of Prayer Celebration . Read more ... » ObamaThe Judge-King Favors the Least: The Undocumented Aliens, etc.. Read more ... » and some missionWhat is Life?. Read more ... » leadersLeaders Question This Man on What Authority He is Doing Those Benevolence, They Could Not Reason Out When He Responds. Read more ... » was in the “situation room” in the White House to monitor the attack in Pakistan. John Brennan, the U.S. counterterrorism chief said, “We were able to monitor on a real-time basis the progress of the operation, from its commencement, to its time on target, to the extraction of the remains.” He adds, “We were able to have regular updates to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation.”

On May 01, 2011 (May 2 in Pakistan), a team of Navy SEALs burst into the compound. They found the al-Qaida leader in an upstairs bedroom with a pistol and an assault rifle nearby and shot him in the head and chest, killing him instantly. “JusticeThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... »,” said President Obama in a televised address to the nationProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... » that night, “has been done” (historyIn Everything Give Eucharist!. Read more ... ».com/topics/osama-bin-laden).

Like that operation, GodCome! Share Your Master’s Joy!. Read more ... » sent“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... » his messenger with a mission. The only difference is that when God sent his messenger, John the BaptistThe Logos Becomes Flesh. Read more ... », God came through JesusGlory to God in the Highest. Read more ... » ChristGlory to God in the Highest. Read more ... » in the lifeWhat is Life?. Read more ... » of the people.

I. The Messenger is Sent by God (Jn. 1:6-8)voiceintehwilderness1

Clearly in our passage (John 1:6-8), John the Baptist was sent by God. He was not just sent from God, but he was also a witnessThe Logos Becomes Flesh. Read more ... » about the LightIsaiah’s Prophecy on the Coming of the Savior. Read more ... ». He was not the Light, but he was “holding” the Light so that others could see the Light. “The Light that no darkness has or will ever extinguish” (Feasting of the WordProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... », p.71). Meaning John the Baptist was sent by God to be a witness so that others could see and experience the true salvationA Man Tries to Walk on the Water, Look What Does He Get. Read more ... » brought by Jesus ChristThe Lord of Resurrection is God of the Living. Read more ... ».

The messenger was from God, and he sacrificed his whole life just to do the will of God. We knowHow to Know the Presence of the Holy Spirit?. Read more ... » that he suffered in jail, and was consequently beheaded by KingThe Judge-King Favors the Least: The Undocumented Aliens, etc.. Read more ... » Herod“Give Back to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's”. Read more ... ».

Wiersbe told a true storyThe Protagonist Narrates the Trailer of His Story, His Avid Fan Does not Like it. Read more ... » about Polycarp (A.D. 70-155) who was bishop“Ready or not, here I come...again.”. Read more ... » of Smyrna and a godly manHow to Ascertain God's Will?. Read more ... ». He had known the apostleA Man Tries to Walk on the Water, Look What Does He Get. Read more ... » John personally. When he was interrogated and asked by the Roman“Into Your Hands”. Read more ... » proconsul to renounce Jesus Christ, Polycarp said: “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and my SaviorThree Things Required in Discipleship. Read more ... »?”

“I have respect for your age,” said the official. “Simply say, ‘Away with the atheists!’ and be set free.”

He knew that if he would do it the crowd would be mad at him. Anyways, the aged Polycarp pointed to the pagan crowd and said, “Away with the atheists!” The crowd got mad, and they asked the Roman Consul to burn him. He was burned at the stake, and gave joyful testimonyJesus is Missing!. Read more ... » of his faithI Doubt, Ergo, I Believe. Read more ... » in Jesus Christ.

A messenger of God when sent by God, is like a soldier sent to battle. Expect to die for your faith and for your God.

 II. The Messenger is Interrogated (Jn.1:19-24).

John the Baptist, the messenger, was interrogated by religious“Give Back to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's”. Read more ... » people, especially rabbis. They asked him who he was, and who sent him. He did not claim he was the MessiahThe Obedience of Joseph. Read more ... », or a prophetThe Eternal Reward of Giving a Cup of Cold Water. Read more ... », or the resurrected ElijahThe Transfiguration of Jesus. Read more ... ». He just said, “I am a voiceHow to Ascertain God's Will?. Read more ... » crying out in the wilderness” (v.23).

John WesleyNew Year, New Creation. Read more ... » explains that John the Baptist was the forerunnerThe Logos Becomes Flesh. Read more ... » of Christ of whom IsaiahThe Man with Unclean Lips Sends by the King of the Armies. Read more ... » speaks. He was the voiceA Caregiver Wows Israel's X Factor; UK Wows For This Pinoy. Read more ... ». As if he had said, “Far from being Christ, or even Elijah, I am nothingThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... » but a voice: a sound that so soon as it has expressed the thought of which it is the signThree Radical Precautions of the Christ. Read more ... », dies into air, and is known no more (Isa.40:3; J. WesleyWesley Divinity School is Remembered. Read more ... »’s Explanatory Notes).saint-john-the-baptist-in-the-wilderness-jose-leonardo

John the Baptist did not want to be the center of his mission, but his messageThe Messiah was Born in a Manger. Read more ... », preparePeople Were Hungry, Look What the Boy Did to Feed Them All. Read more ... » the highway of the LordCome! Share Your Master’s Joy!. Read more ... » (International Standard Version). Why ISV uses “the highway”? King JamesThe Transfiguration of Jesus. Read more ... » and Revised Standard Versions use “the wayHeaven or UFO?: The Liberating Words of Jesus. Read more ... ».”

In Greek“Into Your Hands”. Read more ... » it is τὴν ὁδὸν, ten hodonhodon/hodos which may mean “a traveled way.” When the New Testament, the KJV, and the RSV were written, translators did not know yet what’s freeway. The writers just translated hodos with “way.” Freeway was just coined in 1925-30. “Free + way” means “a major road that can be used without paying a toll” (Wikipedia.comThree Important Roles of Christ’s Disciples. Read more ... »). Freeway is symbolical for me, since the salvation of Jesus is free for us, although he bought it with his blood. It’s “freeway” towards salvation, it’s “freeway” towards Jesus.

The message of John the Baptist, “prepare the freeway of the Lord” is a call for repentanceNew Year, New Creation. Read more ... » before the coming“Ready or not, here I come...again.”. Read more ... » of the Lord. One who heard this message must do it as soon as possibleThe Angel of The Lord Announces the Good News!. Read more ... », actually it means repentDoes God Repent in Nineveh?. Read more ... » now!” Repentance as we all know that we should changeJesus is Missing!. Read more ... » our mindI Doubt, Ergo, I Believe. Read more ... » and heartThe Eight Beatitudes: Principal Graces of a Christian. Read more ... », we change our way, and we change our direction towards God’s direction.

PastorProphecy About the Philippines in 2009, Compare With Current Situation. Read more ... » Gipsy Smith narrated a conversion story happened in South Africa. He said there was a fine, handsome Dutchman came into their worship serviceGod Calls the Boy Rather than the Priest. Read more ... », and God laid His hand on him and convicted him of sin.

The next morning he went to the beautiful home“Ready or not, here I come...again.”. Read more ... » of another Dutchman and said to him, “Do you recognize this old watch?”

“Why, yes,” answered the other. “Those are my initials; that is my watch. I lost it eight years ago. How did you get it, and how long have you had it?”

“I stole it,” was the reply.

“What made you bring it back now?”

He answered, “I was converted last night, and I have brought it back first thing this morning. If you had been up, I would have brought it last night” (sermonillustrations.comThe Greatest Act of God. Read more ... »).

III. The Messenger Introduces the Messiah (Jn.1:25-28).

John 1:25 says, “They asked him, ‘Why, then, are you baptizing if you are not the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?’ John answered them, ‘I am baptizing with waterA Man Tries to Walk on the Water, Look What Does He Get. Read more ... », but among you stands a man whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me, whose sandalYou Have No Right to Keep it!. Read more ... » straps I am not worthy to untie.’ This happened in Bethany on the other side“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... » of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

People questioned John’s authorityThe Eternal Reward of Giving a Cup of Cold Water. Read more ... », and he pointed to the Messiah. He did not claim any honor or position. He just humbly said, “The one who is coming after me, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to untie.”

From 1921 until his deathLazarus’ Raising as a Proof of Resurrection. Read more ... » ProfessorWhat is Life?. Read more ... » Karl Barth, a Swiss Reformed theologian, kept over his office desk a copy of a painting by Matthias Grunewald. The crucified Christ hangs in the center of the picture, and to right side stands John the Baptist with his right index finger“As the Father has Sent me, so I Send You!”. Read more ... » pointing to Jesus. (Feasting on the Word, p.72).johnpointsfingersjesus1

As you can see in our passage, even though John was sent by God he did not lift up his name, but instead he point the mission to Jesus Christ. He showed his humilityPracticing Piety in Front of People. Read more ... » and his loveThey Complain to the Landowner Simply Because He is Generous and Fair to All His Laborers. Read more ... » to Christ.

Conclusion

Everybody has his own motive in doing missionsThe Protagonist Narrates the Trailer of His Story, His Avid Fan Does not Like it. Read more ... ». John’s motive was “to prepare the freeway for the Lord.” How about us, what’s our motive in doing missions?

When Hudson Taylor was director of the China Inland Mission, he often interviewed candidates for the mission fieldThe Greatest is Love. Read more ... ». On one occasion, he met with a group of applicants to determine their motivations for service.

“And why do you wish to go as a foreign missionary?” he asked one.

“I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the worldJesus is the Redeemer. Read more ... » and preachJesus is the Redeemer. Read more ... » the gospelThe Lord of Resurrection is God of the Living. Read more ... » to every creature,” was the reply.

Another said, “I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ.”

Others gave different answers.

Then Hudson Taylor said, “All of these motives, however goodWhich Do You Prefer? Old Practices or New Practices?. Read more ... », will fail you in times of testing“Give Back to Caesar the Things that are Caesar's”. Read more ... », trialsA Man Tries to Walk on the Water, Look What Does He Get. Read more ... », tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ” (sermonillustrations.com).

Do we have this motive in our heartsThe Greatest is Love. Read more ... »? The love of Christ?

 

 

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