John was related to Jesus through their mothers. In Luke 1:36, Elizabeth is described as Mary’s “kinswoman,” meaning that they were related in some way through marriage or blood. Most likely, it was a blood relationship, but neither a particularly close or distant one.
Elizabeth, being elderly, may have been an aunt, great-aunt, or one of the many types of “cousin.” The precise relationship cannot be determined. John is the first opportunity we get to ‘listen’. John’s coming was foretold over 700 years previously by another prophet: “A voice of one calling: ‘In the desert prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken’” (Isaiah 40:3–5).
Pause for a second and think about that. John the Baptist preaches a message that the Messiah is coming and that we should ready the way. That is the great gift of listening. Our lives should be a ‘readying’ of ‘The Way’.
Whole-heartedly believing in Jesus Christ is possible. John knew that the Messiah was coming. He believed this with his whole heart and spent his days “preparing the way” for the Lord’s coming (Matthew 11:10). But the road was not an easy one to prepare. Daily he faced doubters who did not share his enthusiasm for the coming Messiah. Under hard questioning from the Pharisees.
Do we listen? Are we so busy that we cannot listen to the message written on our heart?
Try today to just listen and be shown the way.