‘Well, then, who are you?’ they said. ‘We’ve got to take some kind of answer back to the people who sent us. Who do you claim to be?’ ‘I’m “a voice calling in the desert,”’ he said, ‘“Straighten out the road for the master!”’ –just as the prophet Isaiah said.
John is getting people ready for someone else. John is a voice. He sees himself as the voice from Isaiah 40:1-8.
The voice of him who cries out,“Prepare the way of the Lord in the wilderness, make straight in the desert a highway for our God…then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. The voice said, “Cry out.”
And he said, “What shall I cry out?”… The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God shall stand forever.
John the author is connecting what John the Baptist is announcing earlier in the gospel with this.
Get the road straightened out. The master is coming. The way must be prepared. Or,
In the beginning was the Word…
John the Baptist takes on this role for God. Sounding the alarm, like a fire truck or police siren, Making the way clear.
John isn’t the light but comes to give evidence of the light. John is not the Messiah, but he comes before him in earth’s time. Clear the way.
How can you prepare the way for someone to start following Jesus?