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What the Bible says about Forerunner
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Isaiah 40:3-5

Isaiah begins with "the voice of one crying in the wilderness." The voice prophesied was that of John the Baptist, which Scripture confirms in Malachi 3:1; Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:2-3; Luke 3:4; and John 1:23. Who would John be speaking to, proclaiming his message of repentance? To all who would "hear" him! Those "who have ears to hear" (see Matthew 13:9, 43, etc.), which would be all those with whom God is working, His firstfruits!

What did that "voice" say? What did he call on his audience to do? "[P]repare the way of the LORD." The instruction becomes more specific: ". . . make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made low, the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth." Filling up valleys and removing the tops of mountains seems like a lot of work for one man. This is where the firstfruits come in. Why are we to do this? So that "the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

Albert Barnes, in his commentary on Isaiah written in 1851, remarks on these verses:

The idea is taken from the practice of Eastern monarchs, who, whenever they entered on a journey or an expedition, especially through a barren and unfrequented or inhospitable country, sent harbingers [forerunners] or heralds before them to prepare the way. To do this, it was necessary for them to provide supplies, and make bridges, or find fording places over the streams; to level hills, and construct causeways over valleys, or fill them up; and to make a way through the forest which might lie in their intended line of march.

Those who went before, to mark and improve the route, were the forerunners. They were "the scouts, the pioneers, the ones sent before a king to prepare the way," as forerunner is defined. Recall Daniel Boone and his party of thirty expert woodsmen laying out a 200-mile-long route. Over time, as more people came over the trail, it was improved, widened, and smoothed. It all began, however, with one man. That man then led others, and it multiplied from there.

John the Baptist was one man "crying in the wilderness," yet he prepared the way for the Son of God. Each of us, in our daily lives, interacts with family, coworkers, neighbors, and others who may know little or nothing of God and His Word. Our words and deeds could well pave the way for any of them to answer God's call at another time. Each of us has opportunities to set an example that will affect their lives, hopefully in a positive way. In this way, each of us is a forerunner, marking and improving the trail through the conduct of our lives.

Mike Ford
Blazing a Trail Through the Wilderness

Hebrews 2:8-9

The Pathfinder, the Archegos, the Author of our salvation went before us. He is pulling us back to Him once again, saying, "This is what you can become. Don't neglect it!" (verses 1-3). "Pick up the pieces," He is saying, "and go on."

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Fourth Commandment (Part 4)

Hebrews 2:10-11

A keyword in these verses is "author," from the Greek word archegos, which is translated variously as "captain [KJV], author, pioneer, trail-blazer, and founder." One basic concept threads its way through all of the uses of this word: An archegos is one who begins something so that others may enter into it.

An archegos can found a school that others may follow him into learning. An archegos can found a city that others may dwell in. An archegos can blaze a trail that others may follow. An archegos can begin a family that others may be born into it.

If a ship is foundering on the rocks, and the only way to save the crew and passengers is for someone to swim ashore with a line and secure it to a tree or a rock so that others may gain the safety of the beach, the one who swims with the line is the archegos. He did a deed so that others may follow.

Jesus is the archegos of our salvation. He blazed the trail! He set the pattern! He entered into God's Family that others may follow! And in blazing the trail, setting the pattern, entering God's Kingdom—He too was perfect! That is what the author of Hebrews writes.

The author of our salvation was made perfect through suffering. Our Savior and High Priest completed His training in this way. Having done so, He is fully able to be the pioneer of our salvation, to ensure that we also will enter salvation and to be as He is.

According to this verse, God did this to bring many sons to glory—the same glory that the Trailblazer, the Pioneer, the Author, the Captain has.

John W. Ritenbaugh


Hebrews 6:19-20

This word "forerunner" is the Greek prodromos, used in Scripture only this one time. It means "scout," "guide," or "one sent before a king to prepare the way." The Greeks also used prodromos to mean "firstfruits."

In the story of Daniel Boone, he went first to scout out Kentucky, then later took a party of thirty woodsmen to improve the trail, and after that, even more people followed. Boone was the forerunner, but so were those who went with him to develop the route. That first small group was the firstfruits. Spiritually, Christ has gone ahead, showing us the way, and we, as the firstfruits, improve the trail so that others will someday walk it more easily.

The concept of a forerunner runs throughout the Bible. We could say that Adam was a forerunner, as well as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and of course, Christ. Notice that each of these forerunners had followers—their firstfruits. Adam had Eve and their sons and daughters that followed them. Noah had his wife and family. Abraham had Sarah and Lot, and later were added Ishmael and Isaac, and then Jacob and his children. Moses had Aaron and Miriam and then all the children of Israel. Elijah led to Elisha. John the Baptist proclaimed the coming of Christ, who called His disciples—us.

In other words, we have a part to play as well. It is not the leading role but a supporting one. Nonetheless, it is a necessary part. There is no call for a "big head" here: God could have called someone else or raised up stones, as John the Baptist says in Matthew 3:9. However, He did not; He called us specifically (John 6:44). Therefore, we should not waste our opportunity.

Mike Ford
Blazing a Trail Through the Wilderness


Find more Bible verses about Forerunner:
Forerunner {Nave's}
 




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