John the Baptist, Part 1

Daily Devotional

Average reading time is about 3 minutes

On a quiet summer evening in the northern wilderness regions of the United States and Canada, you may suddenly hear the long, mournful wail of the common loon. The haunting cry punctuates the night with a call between mates that says, “I am here. Where are you?” The characteristic and evocative sounds set a mood around the campfire for peace and solitude. Its cry is sometimes compared with a wolf’s howl. After you hear the wail of a loon, it stays with you for the rest of your life.

Before the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry, a call was heard in the wilds of Judea. It wasn’t the mournful cry of a bird or animal, but the “voice of one crying in the wilderness.” John the Baptist was commissioned by God to be the forerunner of Christ. He was raised in the lonely regions beyond the Jordan River and began his ministry in remote areas far from the cities of Palestine.

Solitude in nature gave John the necessary environment to hear God’s voice and prepare his life as the one who would announce the coming of the Messiah. The wilderness was his school and sanctuary. His message was given to a people who longed for release from the political grip of Rome. The Jews were anxious for the Christ to come and free them from bondage to a foreign government.

John’s startled call punctuated the dark, spiritual night of Israel. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matthew 3:2). Like the call of the loon that draws mates back together, the Baptist’s cry drew people back to the Lord. He was to “prepare the way of the Lord” and “make His paths straight” (verse 3).

God still calls to His people. He says, “I am here. Where are you?” Will you respond to His cry and draw near to Him?

Dear Jesus, I confess my sins and turn toward You. May my heart be prepared for Your soon return.

For Further Study: Matthew 3; Isaiah 40:1–11; Jeremiah 31:31–34

Daily Devotional Verses

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight”’” (Matthew 3:3). For Further Study: Matthew 3; Isaiah 40:1–11; Jeremiah 31:31–34

Stay up to date with what is happening at
Amazing Facts Oceania