The Christmas story was promised and prophesied long before it ever came to pass. In the meantime, however, the congestion of humanity’s sin was only growing greater and nastier. Our need for a savior only became greater and greater. Just before the birth of this promised and prophesied Savior that did come, there was someone who would pave the way. He was the prophesied waymaker, named John.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

    and cry to her

that her warfare is ended,

    that her iniquity is pardoned,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand

    double for all her sins.

A voice cries:

‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;

    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up,

    and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,

    and the rough places a plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,

    and all flesh shall see it together,

    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’”

Isaiah 40:1-5 ESV

John the Baptist plays an important role in the narrative of the Christmas story: fulfilling God’s prophecy and revealing His sovereignty in paving the way for His Son’s ministry. Being the foretaste of Jesus’ birth, John’s birth is also miraculous. Zechariah received a visit from an “angel of the Lord” (Luke 1:11 ESV) named Gabriel. This angel tells Zechariah that he and his wife, Elizabeth, would have a son who would “go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17 ESV). Responding to this, Zechariah was doubtful due to his and Elizabeth’s old age (Luke 1:18), much like Sarah’s response in Genesis 18:12. Sure enough, though, John’s birth happens and Zechariah prophesies,

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;

    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways”.

Luke 1:76 ESV

John prepares the way for Jesus and His ministry. He would be responsible for proclaiming the gospel, the good news of the Savior, to all. Like Jesus, he was also anticipated and expected because Scripture said he would come. So, Christmas continues to serve as the fulfillment of God’s amazing promises and prophecies.

The ministry of John consisted of announcing the coming of God’s kingdom and Jesus Christ. We, likewise, are obligated to the same feat as believers. Throughout this Christmas season you can be like John by spreading the gospel, and sharing the true story of Christmas. You, just like John, can be a waymaker for the gospel of the Savior of the world.