June 7, 2023 –

I’m saddened to see the pictures and videos of the deserts and draught areas of the world. The bareness and desolation are everywhere. You won’t spot water anywhere, but sometimes you observe malnourished people and scrawny animals. The desert is not home for the fair of hearts; cities are for that. The desert doesn’t experience hurricanes, tornadoes, or tsunamis, only sand and dust storms. Excellent descriptive words are desolate, barren, and bleak.

This passage is about a rose that bloomed in the desert. While Jesus lived and ministered in the Galilean hills, John the Baptist lived an austere life in Judea’s wilderness or desert country.

The verses express the mission of John the Baptist. As foretold by the Old Testament, Isaiah, “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, 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 will see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5).

John the Baptist, dressed in a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist, was a “rose” blooming in the desert. His food was locusts and wild honey. His message was repentance and the new life of milk and honey. John wouldn’t give a new life; one coming was much more significant than he was. From the desert, the Baptizer pointed people to Jesus, who would be the bread of life.

We must proclaim Jesus and the new life He offers. Introduce someone to Jesus today!