A few years ago as the world watched the beginning game of the World Series in San Francisco their was suddenly an interruption of the opening interview. The screen blinked and went blank. When the program resumed: A Special News Bulletin. The San Francisco metropolitan area had experienced a serious earthquake. We all watched the live pictures as the huge fire in the Marina area burned. A remote camera crew was there and we saw the firemen fighting the fires. The scene I remember the most, however, was a group of people standing around just looking at the destruction and looking at the fire. All of a sudden a cop came up to the crowd and yelled out to them: "What are you people doing just standing there. You must get prepared immediately. Go home and fill your bathtubs up with water. Be prepared to live without city services for 72 hours. The sun will set in another hour and your time is running out. Go hence and get prepared!"

A long, long time ago a man came on the scene by the name of John the Baptist. John's message was not told in soft monotones, but rather there was an urgent screaming in his voice. Why are you people not getting ready, he yelled to the Hebrews. Why are you just standing there. Don't you see that your time is running out on you. You need to be preparing the way. Making the path straight. Go and get ready.

That message may sound very strange to our modern ears, but the simple truth is that is Jesus were standing here in the flesh this morning and we asked him to give a list of the preachers who were most instrumental upon him, he would have listed the name of John the Baptist. There is just simply no question about that. There was no single human being who was more influential upon the life and career of Jesus than John.

 - Staff, www.eSermons.com, December, 2000