“John proclaimed: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 3:2
John the Baptist, earthly cousin of Jesus, had taken up his mission of life to prepare his world for their long, long-awaited Messiah King. As ancient prophets of God had announced in the past, John was now the “voice” announcing that the time had come.
About a decade ago, I had an experience of being in the midst of a preparation time before a nation’s king would be passing my way. Of course, I had no idea what was about to happen, but from my 6th floor hotel balcony I saw crowds gathering along the road far below me. “A parade!” I thought. I stood on my balcony, watching all of the scurrying as the crowds gathered along the road the “parade” would travel.
Suddenly, my room phone rang. “Mrs. Lenz, you must come away from your balcony, and stay in your room. Close your curtains, and do not peek out at all. His Majesty the King will be passing. Security forces are watching for any curtain movements, and you could be shot. Thank you….and welcome to our country. Click.”
Well, that was a memorable parade experience for me, (of course I had to take the tiniest peek, down on the floor hiding as much as possible against the side wall.)
Now I think of the mission John the Baptist carried out . . . preparing his nation for the arrival of their loooooong-awaited King-Messiah. But in his mission of announcing Jesus’s presence on earth, the “Good News,” there weren’t parades, nor the thrilling anticipation of seeing the King of Kings. Jesus looked like a common man. No fanfare. No military guard. No opulence or finery. No security hovering around Him. No barriers. It just wasn’t the way everyone thought it would be. And most people missed it completely. The preparation for His Presence was all about hearts.
Are you peeking from behind a curtain, afraid you’ll be shot? Or have you taken the steps to be as close to Him as you possibly can….bent knee, bowed head, and opened heart to accept Him as your King, and all the changes to result in your life. His Kingship is absolute.