Prepare the way of the Lord! Two ways to do this:
- Deal seriously with sin- Jews began baptismal purification sometime in the Intertestamental period as another Jewish rite. So in one sense, water baptism had become a way to identify with Jews. But John came baptizing Jews! Salvation is not a matter of Jewishness, but a matter of repentance. Also, John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. By the time the author, John, wrote this, he had witnessed the perfect Lamb of God become a sacrifice for sin. God dealt as seriously with sin as can possibly be conceived– he killed his own Son.
- Constantly confess who Jesus is- verses 29-34 contain extremely rich Christology. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away sin; he was a man who surpassed the Baptist because he had come before him; there is a visible picture of Jesus as the Messiah with a reference to the Holy Spirit anointing him; and John testifies that this is the Son of God. John the Baptist came not simply preparing the way for the Lord; he came to be the voice that preaches: “Prepare the way for the Lord!” And one of the clearest ways he shows how to do that is verbally confessing who Jesus is to others.
Twice, in verse 31 and 33, the Baptist admits he would not have known who Jesus was unless revealed to him. That is the only way ANYBODY will ever know about Jesus, by revelation. So as God revealed to us through the Word, let us go and reveal to others through the Word.