Luke 3:1-6 NRSVue

1In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.

5Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth, 6and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

Some thoughts on this scripture

The Gospel positions John the Baptist in the history of his time, sign-posting the date of God's intervention in human history. It was not a one-off intervention; it continues through every one who works to prepare the way of the Lord.

John the Baptist was an independent Jewish prophet active somewhere around 28 AD. Groups of John's disciples continued to venerate him after his death, and even formed a rival movement to early Christianity. John quotes the prophet Isaiah, "Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight." The image John uses is that of a road engineer, shouting out orders for the construction of the 'royal road' of the Lord.

In Advent, I am called upon to open up the royal road to my own heart so that Jesus may be re-birthed in me.