As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.’”
A friend of mine is involved in ministry to stop human trafficking. There are many schemes to get children started. Kids are given new Nike’s and a T-shirt, and they are dropped off at shopping centers or home developments to collect money for “summer camp.” They keep a small percentage of funds they collect while they gain trust for the adult proselytizing them. When the children want more money, they are introduced to the world of prostitution.
At the time when Jesus and John the Baptist were thirtyish, the High Priests and wealthy schemed to be wealthier. Perhaps the circumstances weren’t much different than today. God sends John the Baptist out of the wilderness, giving him the words from the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3-5), stating he is to: “Prepare the way for the Lord.” John’s job will be to baptize for repentance, to make the rough-edged and crooked want to be smooth and straight. Then, Jesus will help people change their minds and hearts. The story ends with hope. “And all people will see God’s salvation.”