The Wilderness Times – Luke 1:80
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. (Luke 1:80)
One of the things I love about Luke’s gospel are the details that Luke provides. Here Luke notes that once John grew to be a man, he retreated into the wilderness, growing strong in spirit until the time of the public revealing of his ministry.
Luke details this event in Luke 3:
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 3:1-3)
John’s life is a compelling story (read more HERE), but I’d like to focus on one aspect:
John’s time in the wilderness was preparation for his important kingdom mission.
John’s mission was to prepare the people for the advent of the Messiah, so that when Jesus made his appearance, they would recognize and accept him.
And I believe that John would not have been effective in the fulfillment of his mission, had he not endured the preparation for his mission.
Christian, wherever God has you, whatever you’re going through, it is preparation for some future work that God has for you.
Sometimes we bemoan the time in the wilderness, but we need to recognize that the wilderness is often God’s preparation for the greatness.
Perhaps you’re toiling away for the Lord, and it doesn’t seem like anyone is noticing. Perhaps you’re feeling all alone, and that your work for the Lord isn’t bearing any fruit.
If so, just remember John the Baptist. For years he was in the wilderness, with no crowds to follow him, but it was all preparation for the day that the Lord Jesus Christ would walk up to his baptism service at the Jordan River, and John would have the great honor of baptizing the Savior of the world.
We can change the world, one life at a time…