ODJ: preparing the way

December 8, 2014 

READ: Luke 1:13-17 

He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children (v.17).

On 21 July 2013, media outlets worldwide held their collective breath as they waited for the birth of the child of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The baby was third in line to the British throne, and so when Prince George was born the next day there was hardly a newspaper or news programme that didn’t herald the announcement front and centre.

A star paid the Creator homage (Matthew 2:9), angels called out in worship, “Glory to God in highest heaven” (Luke 2:14) and shepherds and wise men travelled from afar to give Jesus the glory and gifts that He deserved (Matthew 2:11; Luke 2:15-16). But before Jesus was born, another baby entered the world. That baby grew to be the man called by God to announce His message of repentance and to prepare the way for the coming King. As we read in Luke 1, an angel heralded not only Jesus’ birth, but also the birth of the prophet John the Baptist (v.17). While in his mother’s womb, John leapt with joy as Jesus—while in Mary’s womb—came close to him (v.41).

Later as a man, John began a ministry that paved the way for the greatest King the world has ever known. But while John made his own headlines, he ultimately came to realise the true identity of Jesus and to proclaim that He was the Messiah. All will bow to this King—stars and angels, shepherds and wise men. As Paul wrote, “Christ will be revealed from heaven . . . the King of all kings and Lord of all lords” (1 Timothy 6:15).

Christmas stands as a vivid reminder of Jesus’ identity as the King of Kings. May we prepare the way for others to bow before this King as we proclaim His good news this Christmas. —Peter Chin

365-day plan› 1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

Read Revelation 5:6-14 for another powerful image of Christ as King, worthy of all praise and glory. 
When you worship God, what image of Him do you most commonly hold in your heart and mind? How can you prepare the way for others to hear the good news of Jesus the King this Christmas?