John, God’s greatest prophet, led the way for the living Jesus Christ by telling groups of people to: “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.”
Perhaps the 21st Century church could obey John and make room for the living, resurrected Jesus to personally move among us and direct us. Perhaps we could set aside human control, programs, agendas, and formats and “make straight paths” for Jesus, Himself, to personally and directly lead church meetings.
Here are some other words from John the Baptist, quoted from the New International Version. John also taught:
“Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.” Perhaps we should all be on equal ground before God and do away with church titles, offices, rank, authoritarianism, and positional power. Perhaps people considered lowly should be allowed to speak in church as well as people holding official positions and everybody have an equal opportunity to be used by God.
“He must become greater; I must become less.” Perhaps all believers should seek to get out of Christ’s way and to allow Him to use and speak through other people as much as we want Him to use and speak through us.
“For the One whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God and gives the Spirit without limit.” There is no limit to what the living resurrected Jesus Christ will do in our midst, if we will simply get out of His way and allow Him to personally direct our meetings.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” When Christians meet the living Christ should be the center of our attention and not any other person, program, or teaching.
John also gave us a warning against trusting in our religions traditions: “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 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.“
Will John the Baptist’s ideas work in the 21st Century? Yes, indeed. To experience a contemporary church that is seeking to implement John’s teaching, visit The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, Tennessee on Sundays at 10:45, 225 Berry St., 37207.