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Good News Bad News

Have you ever had a good news/bad news conversation? You know, those conversations that are not super pleasant to have because they often involve pain. What if it was your sole purpose in life to deliver good news/bad news every day?

There was a man who was born for the very purpose of delivering the ultimate bad news/good news. His name was John. John the Baptist to be more specific. His dad, Zechariah, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied,

And you, child, will be called
a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare his ways,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins.
Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the dawn from on high will visit us
to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.

—Luke 1:76-79

You may find yourself still asking, “What is the message that John was delivering?” John spent his life declaring our own wretchedness and sinfulness (bad news). He spent a good portion of his time helping people recognize their sin, repent, and ask for forgiveness. That’s a pretty tough message to have to declare over and over again.

But thankfully, there was so much hope in even the bad news of our sin. John was proclaiming our need for Jesus. He went before Jesus and prepared the hearts of many to receive the good news that is Jesus Christ. John was constantly putting the spotlight on Jesus. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, who gave His life as a living sacrifice, so that we could be washed clean of our sin and be adopted into the family of God.

So, what is significant about John preparing the way for Christ?

It is significant because it shows the mercy and heart of God. He uses us to proclaim His glory and to bring hope to many. Check out Isaiah’s prophecy of John the Baptist and the coming of Christ:

Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your God.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and announce to her
that her time of forced labor is over,
her iniquity has been pardoned,
and she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.”

A voice of one crying out:

Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness;
make a straight highway for our God in the desert.
Every valley will be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill will be leveled;
the uneven ground will become smooth
and the rough places, a plain.

And the glory of the Lord will appear,
and all humanity together will see it,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

—Isaiah 40:1-5

The good news is that Jesus paid the price for all of our sins! In receiving that good news, we must also continue to prepare the way for Jesus’ second coming. We all have been commissioned to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, and with that comes helping people recognize their need. Ephesians 2:1-10 is a great reminder of the amazing grace that God mercifully and freely gives to us.

Here are a few questions to spur you on to share the good news you have received:

  • Do you believe you have good news to share? If so, what is it? Take a few minutes to write it out.
  • How have you seen God work in your life?
  • Can you pinpoint a time when you became aware of your sin and God stepped in with His amazing grace? Write that down, too.