He must have been quite a sight; this long awaited son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. For years they had prayed for a child, but their prayers went unanswered. Yet when the time was right, God did answer them and gave them a son. During Elizabeth’s entire pregnancy, Zechariah was speechless. When the promised son, John, was born his voice returned. Imagine all the words he had stored up for that occasion.
Now a grown man, John stood in the wilderness clothed in animal skins; his hair matted from sweat and sand; his skin like leather from exposure to the elements. His diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Hardly normal fare for the forerunner of the Son of God. This strange looking fellow was chosen by God to prepare the way for the mighty Savior of the world. God is like that. He often uses the most unlikely to fulfill His plans for us. Of course nothing about the coming Messiah was the way you would expect it to be. The whole event was mapped out in the Old Testament including the one who would be the voice in the wilderness.
John the Baptist’s birth was announced to his mother by the angel Gabriel, just as Jesus’ birth would be announced to Mary. John would have a special mission in his short life and that was to bring people to their knees to ask for forgiveness and realize their wretched condition. Without the realization that we are sinners, we would have no need for our Savior.
Help me, Lord to come to you with a heart full of sorrow over the sins I have committed. Help me to realize how much I need your forgiveness and then help me to be confident that you have absolved me through your precious blood. Amen!