This Advent-Christmas season, I wanted readings and candles at home and church. When I looked for Advent and Christmas readings, I turned first to my hymnal. This combination of scriptures (Malachi and Isaiah) for Advent was taken from the Nazarene hymnal, but the devotional ramblings are mine.
Before Jesus was born, John came forth. Mary and Elizabeth were two unlikely women. Elizabeth was old and her hubby was old, but an angel promised them they would have a son. Mary was unmarried, but pregnant. The two pregnancies overlapped and Mary visited her relative Elizabeth.
John was the forerunner of Jesus. He was the messenger spoken of in Malachi 3:1a. He was the voice preparing the way as mentioned in Isaiah 40:3-5, 10-11a and as fulfilled in Matthew 3:1-12.
This week, as you are preparing for Christmas, take some time to study John's story.
Back Story-Luke 1:5-80
John sent by God-John 1:6-8
not the Messiah-John 1:19-42
John yields to Jesus-John 3:22-36
preaching and baptizing-Matthew 3:1-12
prepare the way, preaching, baptism-Mark 1:1-11
prepare the way, preach and baptism-Luke 3:1-22
fasting/not drinking-Mark 2:18-22
sent disciples to Jesus to see if he was the one-Luke 7:18-35
How did John benefit Jesus and Jesus' ministry? How was God moving in John's life?