2/19 Luke 1:76

76 "And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways"

The priest Zechariah had been struck speechless because he doubted the angel's proclamation (Luke 1:20). He questioned the possibility of his wife having a child at her age. Surely he knew the story of Abraham and Sarah, but when an angel prophesies that it will happen to you, it's another matter. When the child was born, Zechariah's voice returned and he uttered a prophecy that included our verse for today.

Zechariah's prophecy declared that his child, John, would be the fulfillment of the prophecies of Malachi (see 3:1) and Isaiah (see 40:3). He would prepare the way for the coming Messiah by calling people to repentance so that they might receive the Messiah (Luke 1:77-79). This one who was to prepare the way was widely recognized as the return of Elijah, the prophet (Mark 9:11). What the religious leaders and scholars seemed to miss was that the One for whom the way is prepared is the Lord, the eternal God of Israel.

Just as workers would go before a king or emissary and repair the road that he was to travel, so John was to prepare the way into every heart by calling people to humility and repentance preparing them for the Messiah's words. That is the same work of the Spirit of God today in every heart. Some will hear the call and, like the Jews in John's day, they will come to a spiritual Jordan River to publicly express their need to be washed of the sins of their past. They are then ready to receive the words of Jesus (John 5:24). John was a prophet of the Most High God preparing the way for the Lord, who is one with the Most High, so that hearts would be ready to hear.

Consider: Has the Spirit of the Lord been working on the highway into your heart? Are you ready to hear and receive the words of Jesus? And who will you meet today that God may speak through you in the same manner that He spoke through John?