The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert.
Here is wording right out of the Old Testament – The word of God came to John… He’s the prophetic voice of God in the ancient tradition!
And John does what such prophets always do.
Leaders may cajole. Preachers suggest. But prophets boom and doom! God sends a prophet with a sense of urgency!
John doesn’t mince words. He speaks without diplomacy or dilution.
You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
The crowd gets the message. They agree with it. "What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
John gets specific! The rich need to repent of their selfish ways and share their extra clothes and food with the poor.
The tax collectors need to limit their intake to the minimum required by law. And soldiers must quit bullying. Be content with their wages and stop using their power to fleece the people for extra money.
A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord!’ Yes, John was setting the stage for the entrance of Jesus.
Now the Lord has come. The Word of the Lord has come for the last time. It is the voice of Jesus we hear.
This Teacher speaks of change also. Change to become more like Him in heart and life. Are we listening?