Preaching in the Wilderness – Luke 3:3

During the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 3:2-3 NIV

John the Baptist had been living in the wilderness. Far away from the main centers of life in Judea, likely living by himself in communion with God. And, while there, the word of God came to him. And he went to the Jordan River and began to preach a message of repentance.

I have always pictured John as preaching in the wilderness to large crowds of people. And clearly at some point that was true. But I wonder if John had an audience when he started? Or if he just started preaching to an empty wilderness. Or maybe the occasional person who passed by. And then word of mouth began to attract the curious. And, over some period of time, that developed into ever larger crowds.

I don’t picture him establishing a big advertising campaign and waiting until he had a big audience before he started preaching. Rather, God called him to preach, and he began to do so. Trusting in the one who called him to also provide the audience.

It seems like that is a lesson we could learn from John. To be faithful to God’s call in our lives. Even when it might initially seem like nothing is happening. Or that the time is not right. By all means we should be sure of our call from God. But we should not become discouraged because the results are not what we would like to see. Just be faithful and leave the results up to him.

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