Romans 8:28 | And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Isaiah 40:3-5 | Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting, “Clear the way through the wilderness for the Lord! Make a straight highway through the wasteland for our God! Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills. Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places. Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!”

Mark 1:1-7 | This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began just as the prophet Isaiah had written: “Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,  ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’” This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. All of Judea, including all the people of Jerusalem, went out to see and hear John. And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.  His clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey. John announced: “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!”

John 1:19-23 | This was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders sent priests and Temple assistants from Jerusalem to ask John, “Who are you?” He came right out and said, “I am not the Messiah.” “Well then, who are you?” they asked. “Are you Elijah?” “No,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet we are expecting?” “No.” “Then who are you? We need an answer for those who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” John replied in the words of the prophet Isaiah: “I am a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way for the Lord’s coming!’”

  1. Yesterday and today, our readings are about the forerunner of Jesus. Who was this and what did he spend His life doing?
  2. We see John’s message in Isaiah, Mark, and John. What was it?
  3. John’s message did not make him popular. It cost his entire reputation (what people thought about him) and often got him in trouble.
  • Is your faith in Jesus as clearly evident to people around you as John’s was (Can people tell you are a follower of Jesus)? Why or why not?
  • What do people think about you because of your faith in Jesus? What is your reputation and how are you treated differently than non-believers?
  • When are you tempted to hide your faith in Jesus from others?  
4. John’s message and commitment to Jesus ended up costing him his life.
  • What has your faith in Jesus “cost” you?
  • If nothing, have you truly surrendered to Jesus as Lord?
5. What are some things people have to “clear” from their lives to “make way” for Jesus as Lord of their life? What are some things in your own life that are still in the way from letting the Lord have full control of who you are and all you do?
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