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#27 Messiah’s Forerunner

Before John’s birth, his father had been studying Daniel’s prophecy and knew the time was near for the Messiah’s appearing. Zacharias had been praying for Messiah’s coming and was honored to have Gabriel, the angel who had spoken the prophecy to Daniel 500 years earlier, come with the news that his son would be the forerunner of the Christ!

He was given special instructions. John would be his name, and he was never to have wine or alcohol. John was a prophet “in the spirit and power of Elijah.” It was important that he was clear-minded and self-controlled.

Habits of childhood and youth have a greater affect on the character of a man than natural ability. John has to be rock solid to the core, standing against the church leaders with a message of reform, as unmovable as a mountain.

Self-indulgence is the norm. Eating and drinking are numbing sensibility and spiritual perception. John knows that self-discipline will be necessary for mental strength and spiritual insight. He lives and loves the words and metaphors of Isaiah.

No wonder he prefers the simplicity and solitude of the desert as preparation.

Here again, John did not attend the schools of the prophets. God prefers to teach him in nature. John chooses the wilderness as his home so he can be more aware of God’s presence, less affected by the collective consciousness.

Judea is in an uproar over the newly installed Roman governors. Clashes are deadly. The Jews are angry–ripe for revolution. The time is right for change.

Luke 1:13-17, 57-80

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