Luke 9 tells us the story of the Transfiguration (Jesus appears with
Elijah and Moses in front of Peter, James and John). Most scholars tell us
that this event roughly begins the third and last year of Jesusí earthly
ministry. It is at this time that Jesus heads towards Jerusalem for climax
of His ministry.
You might not have realized it, but up to this point in Jesusí
ministry He had not been in Jerusalem. He only visited the towns in
Galilee, north of Jerusalem.
Before Jesus heads south to Jerusalem He sends some messengers ahead of
Him into Samaria where He will pass through. (Luke 9:51-56) Then after
this He sends 72 others ahead of Him to all the towns on the way to
Jerusalem. (Luke 10:1)
The point Iíd like to make here is that Jesus did not go to Jerusalem
without sending messengers ahead of Him to prepare the way. At one point
He even asked some to find a specific room where they could gather.
With this in mind, we remember that John the Baptist was also a
messenger sent ahead of Jesusí earthly ministry. These are two great
events; one, the beginning of Jesusí ministry, and two, the end of His
ministry. Both events were preceded by messengers who prepared the way for
You might suggest that the birth of Jesus as well was prepared ahead of
time by the angels who visited Mary to announce the birth of Jesus.
There might be something here for us to learn? I will say ahead of time
that what I am about to suggest, and I say "suggest", for it is
somewhat a leap of Biblical interpretation. By this I mean, what I am
about to suggest is not clearly stated in the New Testament, and I usually
stay clear of this type of interpreting. But on the other hand, there may
be truth to what I am about to say, and some of you will probably suggest
other Scriptures that make this my point.
If the birth, the ministry, and the death, resurrection and ascension
of Jesus were all announced and prepared for by messengers, would you not
think that His return will be announced and prepared for by messengers as
In the above three instances, the messengers were all hand picked by
Jesus, or His Father as in the case of His birth. I suggest then that in
the days prior to the return of Jesus, He will chose His messengers to go
ahead and pave the way for His return. Who He chooses is His choice, but
there is a big world out there, and a large Body that belongs to Him.
Of course the ones He chooses must be His true followers as He defines
in the gospel writings. These are those who deny themselves daily and take
up their crosses. These are those who lead with the heart of a servant and
not the heavy hand of a dictator. These are those who have been given
power and authority to prepare the way for Him.
I know this has been preached before, resulting in cultish, sectarian,
and exclusive groups thinking they are Godís special people. I am not
talking about such exclusivity. Yet there will come a separation of the
wheat from the tares. The two may still grow together as Jesus says they
will, but the two will be clearly distinguished from each other. The wheat
will not act in arrogance, but in powerful humility, because arrogance has
no place in Godís Kingdom, and especially in His messengers. If indeed
there will be a body of forerunners before Jesus return, they will not
claim any specialness. They will only live humble lives and do His will,
without fear, except for the fear they have in God. They will stand in the
face of great opposition as did the messengers in the Bible and proclaim
the gospel of Jesus and His soon return.
Once again, consider what I say and the Lord give you the understanding
in all things.