See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me (Malachi 3:1a NIV).
This verse clearly refers to John the Baptist who came to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. It is especially significant because Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and he was the last prophet. The next prophetic voice came some 400 years later when John the Baptist came preaching a baptism of repentance. It is good to note the fact that it pleased God to send someone to prepare the way for Jesus Christ.
That tells us that “preparing the way” is very important in God’s eyes. So God Himself sent the messenger. It is not we who choose to become God’s messengers. It is God who has to send us. If we go without God sending us then our message will have no authority. It will lack the power to “prepare the way” for Jesus Christ. So before you set out as God’s messenger, make sure that you are sent by God.
That is only the first step. The second step is not to overstep what you are sent to do. Here the messenger was sent to “prepare the way” and not proclaim a kingdom of his own. We often forget the fact that messengers have only a delegated authority. In other words they are supposed to do only what has been asked of them. Whatever more they try to do would be at their own risk. They cannot speak for themselves. They can only deliver the message given to them. That is enough.
Finally, the messenger’s importance is dependent on the one who had sent him. So God who sends messengers is more important than the messenger however great he may be. Again it is the message that is more important. The messenger could be anybody, great or small. In the case of John the Baptist the message was most important because the message was Jesus Christ, The Word of God Himself! We, as Christ’s messengers, also have no other message. So let us faithfully “prepare the way” for Jesus Christ.