Luke 1:76 – You, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways.
John the Baptist was the greatest of all the Old Testament prophets. Jesus testified of John saying, “This is the one about whom it is written, Behold I send My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way before You” (Luke 7:27). Today, we hear the term “forerunner.” John was the “true forerunner.” In John was a powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit and when he spoke, great conviction came upon the people. Many responded to his call to be baptized. His ministry of baptism was a preparatory response to the coming Messiah. Some thought that John was the Messiah, but he was only preparing the “way” for the Lord.
One reason for the confusion about John’s prophetic ministry was that Moses had spoken of a prophet like himself. “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, and you shall listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15-16). Some were questioning whether John was “that prophet” of which Moses spoke. John was chosen by God to point out the “true prophet,” the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is interesting to note in Zacharias’ prophetic word, that he speaks of the Lord’s ways. Jesus fulfilled the purpose of God in many different respects. One of which is that He is the true Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. All those ministries come from the Lord Jesus Christ. In the New Testament, it is Christ who is the true prophet. If one is called to the office of “Prophet,” Jesus takes of His prophetic anointing and places a portion on the one He has called. Jesus’ ways are altogether righteous. He makes the one who believes on Him, altogether righteous. Jesus is our High Priest who is ever-living to intercede on our behalf. When a believer enters into the ministry of intercession, the anointing of Jesus for intercession comes upon that one.
John the Baptist was the first forerunner in the New Testament. He prepared the way for our Lord’s entrance into ministry. Jesus speaks of the “least” in the kingdom of God as being greater than John. “Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11-12). Each believer is a forerunner as they live a kingdom lifestyle before a Christ-rejecting world. Some are called, like John, to live lives that are separated from the world in a profound way. Some give up the comforts of the culture they have known and go to live among people from a completely different culture to bear witness of Christ and His love.
The Holy Spirit has come to show us the “ways” of the Lord. He leads individuals into various experiences and expressions of Christ’s life and love. The Spirit of God is the One who prepares us for the life He has chosen to reveal in us. He gives gifts to enable us to more accurately represent the Lord Jesus and His love for people. Accept the call of God to be His representative in your sphere of influence. John fulfilled his call to present Christ to Israel. I choose to accept the call of God in my life to reveal Christ and His love to those around me.
Father, I ask for the Holy Spirit to anoint me to be a forerunner. Let my life represent Christ in such a way that Your ways are manifested through me. I pray for the love and compassion of Christ to be evidenced in my daily walk before others, that they might be drawn to the Savior.