Make His paths straight!

April 4, 2023 in NT Commands by TGV

Five-Minute Devotionals
Commands in the New Testament.
Make His paths straight!
102A-NTC, (Matthew 3:3)

“For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight. ” (Matthew 3:3, NKJV)


Matthew 3:3 quotes the Old Testament prophecy from Isaiah 40:3. Luke gives a more extended quote from Isaiah— “As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luke 3:4–6, NKJV)

Matthew’s Gospel was written primarily for Jewish readers. Matthew’s goal is to establish without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah. The Jews—who would have been familiar with Old Testament prophecies—have recognized that Isaiah’s prophecy was being fulfilled in John the Baptist. (For other Messianic fulfillments, see Mt 1:22-23; 2:15; 2:17-18; 2:23; 4:14-15, etc.). Nothing more convincingly demonstrates God’s control over history than fulfilled prophecy. There are over 300 Messianic Prophecies that point to Jesus as the Messiah. And God has made it very clear to everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, that Jesus fulfills the OT prophecies.

The prophecy in Isaiah 40:3-5 probably had two fulfillments: The immediate fulfillment is probably to Jehovah, as He leads His people back through those rugged eastern desert roads from their captivity in Babylon. The direct implication (at least in John’s mind) is preparation for Messiah’s arrival and Israel’s spiritual deliverance.

In those days, public roads were rare in the East until introduced by the Romans. When a king was planning a journey into a particular region, he first sent messengers (heralds) to survey the road situation and the necessary work to fix it. “Making paths straight” meant filling the holes, removing the debris, and knocking down the hills to make the king’s passage easy and pleasant. This was a normal oriental thing— (sending a herald)—and John was called to do it. Only in his case, he was heralding the King of kings, the Lord Jesus Christ!

In this context, however, the commands to “prepare” and “make ready” convey a figurative meaning. John is calling for heart work! To make ready the way of the Lord by personal repentance. John wasn’t asking people to prepare a physical dirt road. He was asking them to prepare the road into their hearts that the eternal King might enter there. I am reminded of the words of this hymn: “The Savior is waiting to enter your heart; why don’t you let Him come in? There’s nothing in this world to keep you apart; what is your answer to Him?”

Beloved, God desires to enter into our hearts today. May we submit fully to the Spirit of God that He may straighten all sin— every mountain, hill, and crooked place in our lives (Heb. 12:1); and prepare us to meet the King of Kings when He appears a Second time (Heb. 9:28). Amen.


That’s “TGV Daily.” Until Next Time— Make His paths straight!


Print Friendly, PDF & Email