Prepare the Way of the LORD
“A voice cries:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it together,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken’” (ESV).
How does one prepare the way of the LORD? How does the world ready itself for the revelation of the glory of the LORD? The promised Messiah of the LORD was coming; and we didn’t know how to prepare, until “the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness” (Luke 3:2), proclaiming:
“Bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (v. 8).
For those in Israel who were able, this meant that they would share tunics and food with ones who had none. For the tax collectors, it meant not collecting more than was authorized. For soldiers, it meant not extorting money from anyone, and being content with their wages. For all those in Israel in John’s time who were asking the question, “What shall we do?”, a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins was the preparation for the coming of the LORD (Luke 3:3, 10-14).
Jesus the Messiah came as promised “to suffer and rise from the dead, and that the repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47). We are witnesses of these things through the power of the Spirit (vv. 48-49) until the day of Jesus’ return.
Seong Hyun Park, Ph.D.
Dean of the Boston Campus; Assistant Professor of Old Testament