We have to be ready to receive the King! Why else would God ask John the Baptist to prepare the way for the Lord? And what did John do to prepare the people? John the Baptist encouraged the people to rethink their ways, repent, and be baptized to be open to start a new chapter in their lives.
It is very human to hold on to a certain way of thinking, or to certain behavior patterns, or even to people who are very dear to us. We need to break free from such ties, so that our hearts can open up and receive what God has to say. There is no open-mindedness in preconceived notions! Try to have a friendly discussion with an opinionated person, and you know what close-mindedness is all about. On the other side of the spectrum are little children who are like sponges, wide open to explore the world around them. Jesus praises little children when He says to His disciples in Luke 18:17:
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
Little children have the innate quality to be straight shooters. They say what they think, they are unashamedly curious, they have very little history to hold onto, and they trust blindly – without reservation they embrace Jesus!
The scene unfolding in chapter 18 of Luke’s gospel is portraying Jesus’ disciples trying to discourage parents from bringing their children to the Lord. In the eyes of the disciples, children were simply not a priority. However, contrary to their assumptions, Jesus wanted to meet the children and their parents. Turning to the disciples he essentially said to them: “Look at these children! They have something that you lack. You need to learn from them.”
In God’s kingdom our common way of thinking is turned upside down. The last comes first, and the first comes last; children enter the Kingdom of Heaven; what seems foolish is wise; and what seems wise is indeed foolish – welcome to God’s world!
God wants to revolutionize our way of thinking and with that, change our life and change the whole world in the process. That’s what Jesus is all about. And God used John the Baptist to prepare people for this kind of revolution. God wants to revolutionize you and me. Are we ready to receive the King?