As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.Luke 3:4–6
In ancient times many farmers clearing their fields would through the rocks and debris onto nearby roads. Over time the roads would become dangerous and travelers would constantly have to walk around the obstacles.
So, when rulers would travel those pathways workers would go ahead of them to clear the paths (compare Isaiah 62:10). They would remove the rocks, level the roads, straighten the paths, and make it so the ruler could get to his destination and the people could see him. These workers prepared the way for their ruler.
John had the ministry of a road builder. The imagery of making paths straight, filling in valleys and levelling mountains all reveal John’s role of preparing a way for Jesus Christ and His message to reach the people.
Like John, we have a role of building roads. We do not fulfil the same office of forerunner, obviously, but we want to make it so that all the world can see Jesus.
As we live Godly lives and share God’s Word, we build roads. We may use apologetics to remove obstacles. We fight the enemy when he throws rocks on the path and are ever watchful of his attacks.
Unlike John, when people ask what they should do we do not give his answer. John prepared the way for the coming of the Lord, we proclaim that the Lord has come and that salvation is not a matter of what we do but rather by what Jesus has done. When the same question was asked of Paul in the book of Acts by the Philippian jailer, the simple reply was “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…”
May God help us to be road builders so that all the world would see Jesus.