Before Jesus, there was John the Baptizer. He was a relative of Jesus, and he came to prepare the way for Jesus. John connects the saving activity of God in the Old Testament with the work of Jesus in the New Testament.
He does that first by fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. Isaiah wrote about John, the forerunner to the Messiah, in Isa. 40:3. A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” This prophecy is about John. John came to prepare the people for the Lord, just as Isaiah said. John came, as the Scripture foretold, to prepare the way for another that the Scripture foretold. This one foretold is God himself.
There is a pattern to God’s plan. God sent many prophets in the Old Testament period to prepare people for the coming of the Messiah. They all spoke of him in different ways and in different periods, just as the author of Hebrews said: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets” (Hebrews 1:1). God spoke through the prophets, and the last prophet he spoke through was John.
But “in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Hebrews 1:2). Jesus was the final Word. We don’t need any more words from God in order to know his purpose, plan, and provision. Jesus is the one. Listen to him and follow him.