Prepare the Way

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Prepare the Way
Text: Luke 3:1-6
Occasion: Epiphany
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Preparation
Author: Brian M


Direction

We are to prepare the way for God, not the other way around.

How to Get There

  • This is the introduction to the rest of the book of Luke, announcing the main characters and reminding us about John, who is himself the introduction for Jesus.
  • Time is being counted by a Roman emperor, however,instead of a Jewish king. So all is not right in Israel. Things were really wrong, and John is the introduction to the solution.
  • John's message is the announcer of a film telling us what we need to know at the beginning, he is the introduction, the prelude to Jesus. What God thought people needed to know before they knew Jesus, John said. So this is very important for us too.
  • And John reads from Isaiah and he is calling on everyone else, everyone who hears him, to prepare the way for God, for Christ.
  • We are needed beyond just being saved. That is step one. Then we prepare God's way until all the things that John is calling out for begins to come true through God's actions.
  • We are being called on to smooth out the path for God to work. We cannot save people on our own, but we can get close enough to them for God to work through us.
  • What can we do in our lives to make it easier for God to work in us and those around us? God isn't supposed to just be smoothing out our lives, but we are to be smoothing the way for God as well.
  • This is the message of Luke, the introduction to everything else that follows. We are here to help people encounter the risen God, so that the entire world will hear God and be changed.

Things to Watch For

  • Usually Epihpany is about the coming of the Wise men in Matthew, but since that event is not recorded in Luke, this message goes with the eastern Christian tradition which celebrates Jesus' baptism on Epiphany.
  • Also, most people when they read this passage assumes that it is John that is preparing the way, and it will probably take some work to get people to see that John is the one in the wilderness calling on others to prepare the way of the Lord.
  • This message can slant towards works righteousness or even saving people ourselves. That is not possible. But we can help, be in a position where God can use us better, and that preparing which John and Isaiah both mention is necessary for the benefits they talk about to happen.

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This Message is part 7 of Luke: Advent to Easter message series.