by Christopher Harbin

Forgiven for Peace
Christopher B. Harbin
Isaiah 40:1-11; Ps 85:1-2, 8-13; Mar 1:1-8; 2 Peter 3:8-15a

Peace is much more than a cease fire of hostilities. Forgiveness is much more than escaping justice. God offers forgiveness, but with the purpose that we receive God's peace. Are we ready to seek God's peace in our lives, according to God's will and definitions?

He came as a herald. He came to prepare his people to receive another of much greater importance than his own. To Mark, John the Baptist's message was key to beginning his narrative and sermon about Jesus. It was the key to Jesus' whole message. As it was necessary to prepare the people before Jesus' arrival, it was also important to prepare his hearers beforehand to listen to the message of Jesus Christ and understand the one of whom Mark was about to write.

John the Baptist came on the scene proclaiming a message of preparation. One would have thought that all were prepared. To be sure, they were anxious for the arrival of Messiah. For years the nation had been in a hopeful turbulence. Many had arisen proclaiming themselves the Messiah who would free the people from Rome's control. Each one had died, and with his death, the nation returned to its anguished expectation over the rising of the true Messiah. They were ready. They were anxious for him to come now! According to their thinking, it was time and they did not with to wait one week longer. Then came John, preaching that they prepare themselves to receive the One they so awaited.

How could they not be ready for His arrival? Even Rome knew the nation was on the cusp of revolt, waiting only that a leader might arrive to lead them in rebellion against the Roman armies. The people seethed in anticipation and search for the Messiah of Yahweh. They were simply looking for a sign that Messiah had come. At least, that is how they saw themselves--ready, prepared. Messiah now!

John had a different perspective. His was the take of a prophet li ...

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