He will be a joy and delight to you(John the Baptist), and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Parentheses, mine
Vs. 17 describes John the Baptist’s ministry at the Jordan. He went before the Lord, not just to baptize and to herald His coming, but to make ready a group of people who would be prepared to listen, to learn, and to follow the Lord. So…even before the signs and wonders drew so many to Jesus, there were those prepared by a change of heart. They would see and hear what others could not because they had been turned from disobedience to the wisdom of the righteous.
The repentent heart – changed from disobedience to the wisdom of the righteous. This is a precious gift from the Lord to His children. Thank you, God, that because of the ministry of the Holy Spirit, we are able to see, to learn and to desire to walk in your way.