Before John the Baptist was born, the angels gave his father Zechariah a prophesy about him from the Lord.
“And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” –Luke 1:17 (emphasis added)
John’s job was to prepare people for the first coming of Jesus. He did this through preaching about the coming of Christ and giving people a baptism of repentance. Now Jesus has already come, but Advent is also a time of preparation. It is a time of preparing our hearts for Jesus to return. It has been about 2,000 years since Jesus’ first coming and it could be thousands more before he returns. Or he could return tomorrow. The bible says that no one knows the day or the time that he will return. During this Advent season, let’s ask ourselves: If he returned tomorrow, would you be ready?
This reminds me of the story that Jesus told about the virgins with the candles. If you want to read the whole thing, it is in Matthew 25:1-13. Basically, there were ten virgins who went to wait for the groom to enter the wedding ceremony. Five of them brought extra oil for their lamps, but five did not. The groom took too long to come and they all fell asleep. When they awoke, the wise ones still had the extra oil, but the foolish ones had to go buy more. The groom came while the foolish ones were buying more oil, and only the wise ones with the extra oil were there when the groom arrived and got to join the wedding feast.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be one of the wise ones who gets to join the party in heaven! If we want to join, we have to be prepared. I cannot tell you what being prepared will look like for you. But later in Matthew chapter 25, Jesus tells two more parables that show what being prepared entails. I encourage you to read the whole chapter and decide what you are being asked by God to do in preparation for His return to Earth. May we all prepare our hearts during this advent season so that we may be ready for Jesus’ return!