In Luke 3:4, Luke mentions the prophecy that Isaiah made about John the Baptist when he said, “He will prepare the way for the Lord.” John, in his ministry, would later reinforce his role by declaring that “someone more powerful than me is to come” Luke 3:16. this got me thinking about how we can take on the role to prepare the way for others.
Prepare the way for our children. As parents, how do we prepare the way for our children to live and thrive as they emerge into young adults? I think it’s possible by teaching and encouraging them to be respectful, responsible, and resourceful. I won’t take space to elaborate on these, but it’s as simple as daily modeling and instilling these values in their lives. You can prepare the way for your children by practicing what you preach in these areas and empowering them as they also put these into practice.
Prepare the way for potential leaders. Much credit goes to John the Baptist for throwing off the accolades for himself and pointing people to the one who would come after him. Jesus himself spoke often of servant-leadership and the willingness to set up others. Someone who prepares the way for others, especially leaders, sees the investment as the most credible way of defining and illustrating success. After all, there can be no success without successors!
It is often reported that when Brett Farve was quarterback of the Packers and Aaron Rodgers was his backup, that Farve had little interest, nor was instrumental in preparing the way for Rodgers to someday take the helm. To Rodger’s credit, he did all he could do to learn anyway, and became the starting QB while Farve got traded, tried to play well past his prime, and only retired from the game because of scandal and not being that great anymore. On the contrary, Drew Brees, QB of the Saints, who this past weekend became the greatest single season passer in the history of the game, when playing for the Chargers, very purposefully did all he could to mentor a young Phillip Rivers. Ultimately Rivers became the starter and Brees was traded to the Saints, where he has won a Super Bowl and experienced his greatest seasons in the NFL.
Remember that Jesus, when asked about John the Baptist’s life, said, “There has never been anyone greater than John!” Preparing the way for others is the greatest way to live.