Pointing to Christ with John the Baptist

Making ready for the Lord a people prepared.


John Stonestreet

Heather Peterson

In anticipation of Christmas, let’s revisit the account from Luke 1 of the angel Gabriel visiting Zechariah to announce the birth of his son, John. According to Gabriel, John’s role was “to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”  

Karl Barth, the famous 20th-century theologian, was inspired by a depiction of John the Baptist by Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald. In it, John stands to the right of the crucified Christ, pointing, as Barth put it, “in an almost impossible way” toward His savior. Barth had a print of the work hanging in his office. It reminded him that his job was not merely critiquing theology but always pointing to Christ.  

As we enter Christmas and the New Year, let’s do the same—keep pointing to Christ. And as we point to Christ, we point to reality, because in Him, as the Apostle Paul says, “all things hold together.”   

This Point was first published 12.23.22. 


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