Growing up and hearing this part of Luke, I always envisioned a hairy, smelly guy who had not showered in a while, coming up out of the dessert after eating strange things to survive there. I remember thinking, “did people really take this guy seriously?” Did they think he was a “madman”? He quotes from Isaiah, so although he may have looked quite scruffy, he proves to have studied the Scripture and to be knowledgeable in that realm. Does that make him more credible? He proclaims: “and all people will see God’s salvation” (v. 6). He was calling everyone, all people, universally, everyone without distinction, and declaring they would ALL see the salvation of God. How radical was that? John stood at the door of a new age of grace, welcoming all. I’m wondering, do I do the same?
A new age of grace
God, give me the grace and courage to be bold and radical like John. Open my heart and mind to realize the universality of your grace, your open door extended to all as John proclaimed so many years ago.
‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’