John, the Baptizer, came to pave the way for his cousin Jesus, the Messiah and our Master. John was very focused. He lived a simple life. He had an essential message.
John, like Jesus after him, challenges us to change our mind. In traditional translations the word used is repent. I think that has lost its meaning. Changing your mind is the literal meaning in the Greek word. I think that captures the challenge of John and Jesus.
John, couples the need to change our minds with the fact that God’s Kingdom is here. We don’t live in kingdom any longer. We are a republic with elected officials. Jesus has been crowned King by God, his Father. Jesus is in complete control. There is this world and God’s world. In God’s world, Jesus is completely and absolutely in charge of everything. What he wants, at any given moment, is all that matters. We need to change our mind about who is in control. It is not us. It is Jesus.
The way we are thinking misses God’s goal for our life. To understand God’s plan, we need to change the way we think. Here are some key ideas:
- God is in control.
- Jesus is the Messiah and our Master.
- God is God.
- God is in a good mood and loves us as our Heavenly Father.
- God can and will do anything he wants to without our permission.
While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your mind (Repent). God’s kingdom is here.”
John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:
Thunder in the desert!
Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!