the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan River, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,make his paths straight.Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low,and the crooked will be made straight,and the rough ways will be made smooth,and all humanity will see the salvation of God.”
Here we see John the Baptist preaching a “baptism of repentence”. The writer of Luke links this ministry with Isaiah 40. Interestingly, Isaiah 40 is a turning point in the book of Isaiah. It is the start of the last third of the book, which up until that point has been a treatise on God’s greatness, Israel’s sin and prophecies of doom. At Chapter 40, the book abruptly shifts into words of comfort and kindness from God to His people.
Once again, this salvation of God is not directed only to the Hebrews, but will be seen by all people.
A note: somehow it escaped me until today, but the word “salvation” is not used in the gospels of Matthew or Mark. Yet, certainly the idea of salvation is not missing from the first two gospels. So, I searched for “save” and “saved”. There are a lot of entries for these two words. The next use of “salavation” doesn’t show up until Luke 19. So I think I’m just going to back track and start looking at the uses of “save” and “saved” in Matthew and Mark and then add salvation back into the mix once we get into Luke.