25 Days of Christmas Prophecies

Day 18 – The King’s Herald

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

– ISAIAH 40:3-5 NIV –

Isaiah 40 has to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible, and today’s prophecy is only the first of three we will consider from it.

It opens with the Voice of the Lord declaring, “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem…” – literally “Speak to the heart of Jerusalem” (Isaiah 40:1-2 NIV). And you can almost hear the angels singing, “O-oh tidings of comfort and joy.”

But notice the Lord then places His Voice into another in verses 3-5 – God’s words from another’s lips – the herald of the King – who will proclaim “the glory of the Lord will be revealed” for all people to see (Isaiah 40:5). Looking in the rearview mirror, we know this person to be John the Baptist.

John the Baptist was commissioned with a unique calling: the last prophet of the Old Testament and the first prophet of the New Testament. Look how the Gospel of John makes sure we don’t miss the fulfillment of this prophecy:

John the Baptist declared, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said’” (John 1:23 ESV). Valleys raised up and mountains laid low to prepare the way for the King!

John the Baptist was a bold witness sent to testify of the Light “so that all might believe through him” (John 1:6-7 NASB). Jesus called him the greatest ever born (Matthew 11:11). Yet when his mission was complete, listen to John’s gracious words to his followers,

“He who has the bride is the Bridegroom; but the friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly because of the Bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30 NASB).

Did not John also “leap” for joy when he first came near the Messiah while both were still in the wombs of their mothers, Elizabeth and Mary (Luke 1:41)?! Before his first breath to the end of his life, John was filled with the joy of Jesus. Oh, that our lives would overflow with this same joy!

“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (Jesus in John 15:11 NASB).

O tidings of comfort and joy.