Scripture: Luke 3:4 “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’.”
Observation: Luke uses the quote above from Isaiah to describe John the Baptist’s ministry as a mission of proclamation, aka preaching. John came to preach during a dry desert-like time for the Jews. The Jews were being oppressed by the Roman government. They Jewish race was demoralized and desperate. Many of them were poor and all of them under the thumb of the Roman government, except those who sided with the Romans against their own Jewish people. John’s preaching was primarily aimed at raising people up who have been brought low by life. John was called to preach in a way that would help demoralized Jews see themselves not through the eyes of their Roman oppression but through the lens of the rule and reign of God.
Application: I believe God has called me to preach in a way that elevates those brought low. Good news sets captives free. A preacher is called to be a “voice calling in the desert” that helps hopeless and hurting people to see “God’s salvation” in Christ. I want to preach in a way that causes a hopeless case to become hopeful, a racist to see people as God’s creation, a legalist to find love, an addict to get clean, etc.
Prayer: Lord, when I am tempted to use preaching to bring people low or beat them up, remind me of this verse. When I cry out in the desert of life’s dryness, please empower my voice to set captives free by the power of Christ.