Saturday, October 15, 2011

the prophecy of John the Baptist

In our Gospel reading today Jesus is praising John the Baptist. He is a prophet ... and Jesus reminds the crowd that this is something that they all knew; this is why they went out into the wilderness to see him. And as a prophet, John said of himself that he prepared the way for another who was to come after him; Jesus reminds the crowd that this was what the prophet Malachi said, that one would be sent who would prepare the way for the Messiah.

So John is more than a prophet, Jesus says ... for he is a prophet who comes in fulfillment of a prophecy. And John, as we know, pointed to Jesus and said that he was the one, declaring at Jesus' baptism that it was Jesus who should baptise him.

So Jesus is doing more here than remind the crowd that John is a prophet. He is reminding them what kind of a prophet he is and what it was he prophesied about. He is reminding them that he foretold the coming of the Messiah. And that those words found fulfillment in the one who was now before them: Jesus himself.

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