What Jesus Did!: ‘Prepare the Way’ — Mark 1:1-3
This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as told by the Apostle Paul.It all started exactly as the prophet Isaiah had predicted: ″Look, I’m sending my messenger ahead of you, and he’ll make sure everything is ready for you.As if from the desert, he is calling out to the people, ‘Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord!’ ‘Make way for him on the highway!’″ — Mark 1:1-3 (New Living Translation)
What was the genuine starting point of the Gospel?Where did God’s Good News first come from?The legends surrounding Jesus’ birth were the starting point for Matthew and Luke’s descriptions of Jesus’ life.
The Gospel of John begins before the creation of the world, when the Son of God was not only present, but actually actively involved in the act of creation.Mark, with his emphasis on the Good News, opted to begin at a different point in the story.If people are going to be receptive to the Good News of God, someone will have to step up and prepare the way for Jesus to arrive and for his message to be received by all.For the most part, the Good News always starts off in this fashion.The essential question is whether or not we are prepared to be used as servants like John the Baptist — who is presented in the next verse — in order to prepare the way for Jesus’ Good News to be heard by our acquaintances and colleagues.
Father in heaven, please use my life to prepare the way for Jesus to come into the lives of my friends, acquaintances, and family members with the Good News of Jesus Christ. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Mark 1:14-15
- John 3:26-30
- Mark 8:35
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Thursday, January 2, 2020
Charles H.Spurgeon’s famous twice-daily devotional is available here.″All things on our planet are in desperate need of renewal.
No created creature has the ability to continue on its own.″Thou renewest the face of the year,″ the Psalmist exclaimed in praise of God.″The writings of the apostle Paul have been transformed into daily, powerful prayers.″Dear Father, you commissioned the Good News to be disseminated throughout the world, thank you that we have received grace through Christ and have been commissioned to share the.″ A devotional guide to the book of Acts that will take you through the entire book in one year.I told you, Theophilus, all that Jesus began to accomplish and teach up to the day he was carried up to heaven after giving his chosen away in my first book.Inspirational and uplifting Christian quotations delivered to your inbox every day.
″The only investment that is guaranteed to succeed is goodness.″
About This Devotional
Using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order, What Jesus Did!is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order.Throughout each devotional, there is a scripture excerpt as well as a reflection and a prayer that help to open up the day’s scripture and demonstrate how it pushes you to live your life for Jesus.
What Jesus Did!is a book authored by Phil Ware that is now available for purchase.Scripture excerpts are derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, which was copyrighted by Tyndale House Foundation in 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015, and 2016.Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188, has granted permission for this usage.All intellectual property rights are retained.
How Did John the Baptist Prepare the Way for Jesus?
The fact that John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the Lord is something that is frequently overlooked or forgotten.The majority of people would undoubtedly argue that he accomplished this just by preaching about Christ’s impending return.There’s a lot more to it than that, though.
John the Baptist, along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, is possibly the most revered saint in the history of the Christian faith.This is due to the fact that, like all of the greatest saints, but to a larger level, his life was a perfect reflection of Christ’s life.His prophetic ministry required him to replicate Christ’s life in advance, which distinguished him from previous saints.Throughout this essay, we will look at how John’s life was a pattern of Christ’s life from the beginning to the end, and beyond.
Annunciation, Miraculous Conception, and Geneaology
The angel appeared to Zechariah, John’s father, first, and then to John himself.Elizabeth, Zechariah’s wife, was well past the age of childbearing, yet Gabriel informed her that she was expecting a son shortly after.After Elizabeth’s pregnancy was announced as an illustration of God’s omnipotence, the angel appeared to Mary and announced the conception of Jesus Christ as a result of the virginal conception.
Because of their family ties to Mary and Elizabeth, John and Jesus share a great deal of the same genealogical heritage as the Aaronic priesthood and the Davidic royal line: Aaronic priesthood and Davidic royal line We learn that Aaron, who belonged to the tribe of Levi, married a woman who belonged to the tribe of Juda, namely, Elizabeth, the sister of Naasson.We learn through the descendants of David that Joiada, the top priest, married a member of David’s family, namely the daughter of Joram; it follows from this that both the royal and sacerdotal lineages were joined, and that Mary and Elizabeth were related.In any case, it was very appropriate for Christ to be born into both of these tribes, given that he was simultaneously king and priest in his own right.— Haydock et al.Commentary on the Bible from a Catholic perspective
When Mary, who was pregnant with the Son of God, came to see Elizabeth, ″Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit″ as a result of Mary’s greeting (Luke 1:41 RSV-CE).As with the rest of the apostles, John, too, was ″filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb″ (Luke 1:15), jumping for joy when he saw his Savior and the Blessed Virgin Mary.Traditionally, this has been read as John’s sanctification while still in the womb, or as the purging of John’s original sin before his birth: Now, because the existence of any sin is incompatible with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the soul, it follows that at this point, John was cleansed of the stain of original sin, which occurred at the moment of baptism.
— The Catholic Encyclopedia is a resource for learning about the Catholic faith.Although this is not a binding doctrine of the religion, it is an acceptable pious belief in the eyes of the majority of people.Note that this is distinct from being created (as Adam and Eve) or conceived (as our Lord and Lady) without original sin; John came into being without sanctifying grace, just as the rest of humanity did, but was blessed by the recognition of Christ in the womb of the Virgin, and thus was granted the opportunity to receive that sanctifying grace.Even if it is a lesser mercy than the Immaculate Conception, it is nonetheless unique and refers to the greater holiness of our Lord’s conception, as He was never born into a world with original sin.Interestingly enough, because he is believed to be the only other person born without original sin save our Lord and Lady, aside those two, John the Baptist is the only figure who has a distinct feast day marking his birth besides those two.This is owing to the fact that his birth has a greater degree of holiness than the birth of any other saint (again, excluding our Lady): Others are celebrated for reaching the pinnacle of their fight on their final day of dying life, but John is distinguished for starting from the beginning; he is honoured for finding the very beginning to be sanctified.
– St.Augustine of Hippo (taken from the Roman Breviary)
Righteousness and Personal Sanctity
Truly, I say to you, there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist among those who were born of women; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.— Matthew 11:11 is a verse from the Gospel of Matthew.According to St.
Jerome, this ″does not suggest that John is to be elevated above the Prophets and Patriarchs and all others, but rather that he is to be treated on a same footing with them.″ To be sure, even if John the Baptist is simply a shadow of the greatest prophet or patriarch of the Old Covenant, his personal purity must have been faultless or almost faultless in comparison.Job ″was spotless and upright″ before his trials, and there was ″no one like him on the face of the planet″ before he was afflicted (Job 1:1, 8).Job was ″completely virtuous,″ according to St.John Chrysostom, who interpreted this passage.Be with Adam and Eve, Noah is said to as ″blameless in his generation″ (Genesis 6:9), and he is said to have ″pleased God, by practicing the most perfect justice in the midst of a corrupt generation″ (Haydock).The Bible says that even John’s own parents were ″righteous before God, abiding in all the laws and ordinances of the Lord without fault.″ (See Luke 1:6) In order to be as great as or maybe greater than these and the other key personalities from before the Kingdom of Heaven was revealed to mankind, John the Baptist must have been almost sinless, if not completely faultless, in his personal and professional life.
It is true that the Church does not teach either John’s sinfulness or his sinlessness as a matter of dogma; but, it is apparent from the words of Christ Himself that John’s sanctity reflected, if imperfectly, Christ’s own holiness.
Preaching and Ministry
When John the Baptist came preaching in the Judean desert, he said, ″Repent, because the kingdom of heaven is near.″ This was during those days.— Matthew 3:1–2 (from the Gospel of Matthew) (RSV-CE) Following John’s imprisonment, Jesus traveled to Galilee, where he preached the gospel of God and declared, ″The hour has come, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the gospel.″ — Mark 1:14–15 in the Gospel of Mark (RSV-CE) It is uncertain whether or not John ever saw his cousin Jesus of Nazareth again between the time when he recognized Him in the womb and the time when he baptized Him in the Jordan River.In spite of the fact that John was the greatest of all the prophets and that he himself had many disciples, John’s ministry was always pointing toward the advent of the Messiah.
As Christ would later preach love of neighbor via the performance of the Corporal Works of Mercy, John urged his disciples to share their clothing and food with the needy, just as Christ would eventually preach love of neighbor through his own Corporal Works of Mercy.In the same way that Christ would welcome sinners but urge them to sin no more, John admonished tax collectors to cease cheating the people.The religious establishment was referred to be a ″brood of vipers″ (Luke 1:7), and John sought their repentance before baptism them, much as Christ would do later in his ministry.Finally, just as Christ would build a Church that would include both Jews and Gentiles as a fulfillment of the old promises to the patriarchs, John taught that ″God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones″ (Luke 1:8).As a result of their recognition of the relationship between the two, some would question John whether he was the Messiah, while others would ask Christ whether He was the same John who had been risen from the grave.At the time, as they are today, the parallels between the two were immediately apparent.
John, on the other hand, remained unwavering in his belief that he was only a prophet paving the way of the Lord, who was unworthy of Him yet was still chosen to be His Forerunner.Even Jesus Christ’s baptismal ministry served only as a preparation for the Christian baptism instituted by Christ, rather than as an actual sacrament in which the penitent acknowledged and turned away from his sins: was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both in regard to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing would be acceptable to him, if they used it not in order to the putting away of sins (trans.William Whiston)
Arrest and Death
For his uncompromising moral preaching and expanding following, John, like Jesus, incurred the wrath of the authorities in his hometown.It is recorded in the gospels that he opposed Herod Antipas’ illicit marriage to the bride of his own brother.In addition, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, Herod was concerned that ″the considerable influence John possessed over the people may put it into his power and desire to organize a rebellion″ (XVIII.5.2).
The parallels between Christ’s apprehensions and those of the Jewish and Roman rulers are striking.Both Herod and Pilate were apprehensive about putting John and Jesus to death, respectively.While Herod loved listening to the Baptist speak in jail, despite his animosity for him, the Roman governor Pilate did not believe Jesus was guilty of any actual crime.Because of moral failings, each leader allowed himself to be persuaded into putting these holy men to death.He was consumed with twisted passion for his daughter-in-law/niece Salome, and in order to avoid being humiliated before his peers, he carried out his vow to her of beheading John the Baptist.It was at the insistence of her mother, Herodias, that she requested this favor of John, who was enraged by John’s decrying of her marriage to King Herod.
Pilate killed Jesus out of cowardice, at the urging of a mob that he frightened and dreaded the consequences.John the Baptist became the first voluntary martyr for Christ in the New Testament, modeling Christ’s own death before it was actually carried out by the Romans.At the Basilica Church of San Silvestro in Capite in Rome, there is a relic believed to be a portion of John’s head, which has been preserved.
Descent to the Dead and Worldly Consequence
On the Feast of the Martyrdom of St.John the Baptist, we are reminded that John’s proclamation of the Messiah did not cease with his physical death, but that he even paved the way of the Lord in Sheol: ″John the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord in Sheol.″ Even though the Lord’s witness suffices for thee, O Forerunner, thou hast proven to be genuinely even more venerable than the Prophets, having been allowed the authority to baptize Him Whom they had announced in the rushing rivers, and so hast proven to be even more venerable than they.So after a long struggle for the truth, thou rejoiced in proclaiming the good news even to the inhabitants of Hades: that God has appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and bestowing tremendous kindness on us.
John the Forerunner’s beheading was the subject of an apologetics piece.The beautiful beheading of the Forerunner served as a divine dispensation, allowing the arrival of the Saviour to be preached to those in Hades as well as those on the surface of the earth.Herodias should sob because she demanded a heinous murder; for she cherished neither the Law of God nor eternal life, but just a false and transient existence.— In preparation for the beheading of John the Forerunner, Kontakion was held.As we proclaim in the Apostle’s Creed, Jesus personally descendedit ad inferos and ″preached to the spirits in jail″ (1 Peter 3:19), an occurrence that is extensively represented and honored in icons of the Harrowing of Hell and is commonly celebrated on the Friday before Holy Saturday (Holy Saturday).The Resurrection of Christ has resulted in John being elevated to the rank of Saint in Heaven, where he awaits the physical resurrection of his own body on the Last Day.
A few people in the material world have believed that certain historical events were the result of God’s punishment for the deaths of these two virtuous men.Jesus foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred only a few decades after His death, by stating that the destruction and resurrection of His Body, the genuine Temple, would be analogous to the imminent demolition of the Temple in Jerusalem, which has still not been restored to this day.Meanwhile, Josephus writes that “some of the Jews considered that the destruction of Herod’s army came from God, and that very justly, as a retribution of what he did against John” (XVIII.5.2) (XVIII.5.2).
In light of his genuine role in both life and death, it is appropriate that John is referred to as ″the Forerunner″ of Jesus Christ in the Bible.This is simply one example of the various ways in which he retrospectively emulated his Savior’s baptismal ministry, from which he acquired his more well known title.Every one of us, from the most beautiful saint to the most vile sinner, is expected to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
The example of John the Baptist, aside from that of the Blessed Mother, is arguably the most similar to our Lord’s.″He (Christ) must rise, but I (the believer) must shrink,″ we learn from him, and it is one of the most profound and humbling truths of our religion, a trait that we should strive to emulate on a daily basis (John 3:30).The Solemnity of the Nativity of St.John the Baptist is commemorated on June 24th every year in the Catholic Church.It is customary to observe the Memorial of John the Baptist’s Passion on the 29th of August.If you enjoyed my essay, please consider subscribing to Catholicism Coffee so that you may receive more articles on Catholicism in the future!
Thank you so much, and God bless you!
Who prepared the way for Jesus?
Written by Arvin Kaufman The Bible has a tale about a guy named John the Baptist, who lived in the first century AD.He was born before the birth of Jesus.The names Elizabeth and Zechariah were given to him by his parents.
His place in the story God appointed John to a position even before he was born, when he was still in his mother’s womb.The purpose of this assignment was for him to inform the world about the coming messiah who would save people from their sins.He was a one-of-a-kind individual who stood out from the crowd of his day.He was a nomad who lived in the forest and subsisted on locusts and wild honey.It was fashioned of camel’s hair, and a leather belt was tied around his waist to keep it in place.When he first began preaching, he exhorted the congregation to ″repent, for the kingdom of God is near.″ People traveled from far and wide to come to him, confessed their sins, and were baptized in the Jordan River.
John was carrying out his mission of paving the way for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.He was preparing the hearts of the people so that they would be ready to welcome Jesus.He informed all who came to him, including religious leaders of his day such as the Pharisees and Sadducees, that they needed to repent, turn away from their sins, and do good in order to be saved.He wanted them to understand that simply claiming to be Abraham’s descendants would not be enough to redeem them; only Jesus could do that for them.According to John the Baptist, who served as Jesus’ messenger, Jesus would come and be more powerful than him, and that He would baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire, among other things.Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist.
- Following that, Jesus traveled from Galilee to be baptized by John, which was a happy coincidence.
- When John saw Jesus approaching him, he was apprehensive and believed that he should be the one to be baptized by Jesus instead, because He was greater than he.
- Nevertheless, Jesus said John, ″Let it be so now; it is fitting for us to do this in order to complete all righteousness.″ He was baptized after that, and John agreed to baptize Him.
- During Jesus’ baptism, something quite unusual occurred, according to the Bible.
- The Heavens were opened, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus like a dove, and a voice from Heaven said, ″This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
- ″ (Matthew 3:15-17).
- John had completed his mission of informing the people about the impending Messiah, Jesus Christ, at this point.
- What is our responsibility?
- If you have heard about Jesus, give thanks to God and express gratitude to the individual who introduced you to him or her.
- While John the Baptist endured many difficulties in the desert, we have the benefit now in that we have a plethora of opportunities to share the Gospel with others.
We don’t have to do this in the desert as John did.We can do it in our own houses.We can communicate through social media and a variety of other venues.
The good news of Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world, who came to take away people’s sins and restore them to a right relationship with God, is being shared by us as well.Jesus is returning soon, and now is the moment for us to inform the world about Him and bring people to repentance so that He might send his Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him.We, too, are paving the way for Jesus, just as John did.Today should be the day when individuals who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord of their lives pray and beg the Father for this wonderful gift of salvation, which is His son Jesus Christ, to be bestowed upon them.Author Kaufman is most known for his book, ″The ABC’s of God.″ www.salvationengine.com ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Subscribe to our website and be among the first to learn about important Christian news, health information, pastoral counseling, the environment, farming, and a variety of other topics.Like and follow us on Facebook at Good News UG, where we will provide regular updates.
Who Prepared the Way for Jesus? The Answer May Surprise You.
*** Gospel according to Matthew 1: 1-17 The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David and the son of Abraham, is contained in this book.Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac became the father of Jacob, Jacob became the father of Judah, and Judah’s brothers became the father of Judah.Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, who were born to Tamar as their mother.
According to tradition, Perez became the father of Hezron, who in turn became the father of Ram, who in turn became the father of Amminadab.Salmon became the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, and Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, who in turn became the father of Salmon, who in turn became the father of Boaz.Boaz became the father of Obed, who was born to Ruth as his mother.Obed became the father of Jesse, who in turn became the father of David, the king of Israel.David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had previously been the wife of Uriah, who was David’s son.In turn, Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, who in turn became the father of Abijah, who in turn became the father of Asaph.
It was Asaph who became the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat who became the father of Joram, who in turn became the father of Uzziah.In the course of time, Uzziah became the father of Jotham, and Jotham became the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz became the father of Hezekiah.Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh became the father of Amos, and Amos became the father of Josiah, as the story goes.As a result of the Babylonian captivity, Josiah was adopted as the father of Jechoniah and his three brothers.Following the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel became the father of Zerubbabel, and Zerubbabel became the father of Abiud, who was the father of Shealtiel.After Abiud, Eliakim became the father of Azor, who then became the father of Zadok, Abiud became the father of Eliakim again.
- Zadok became the father of Achim, and Achim became the father of Eliud, and Eliud became the father of Eleazar, as the story goes.
- Eleazar became the father of Matthan, and Matthan became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of Joseph, the spouse of Mary, as a result of their union.
- It was through her that Jesus, also known as the Christ, was born.
- As a result, the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; and from the Babylonian exile to the birth of Christ, 14 generations.
- The Lord’s Gospel is a collection of passages from the Bible.
- *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** In the genealogy of Jesus, there are some rather scandalous figures recorded – everyone from idiots, liars, and scam artists, to adulterers, murders, and prostitutes!
- After going through 42 generations of our own family tree, we can come across a poor apple or two.
- However, this is the family tree of Jesus, not ours.
- As far as it appears, God would have selected only honorable men and women – and not sinners – to prepare the way for his Son to come.
- *** However, he did not.
*** It is here that we can learn something.People have a tendency to live in disarray.We all make blunders.
We all have pages on our computers that we wish we could delete, just like some of the people included in Jesus’ family tree.Despite their flaws, God nonetheless used them to pave the way for the first appearance of his Son on earth.*** In the same manner, anybody may be called upon by God to pave the way for his Son’s second coming.It is not necessary for us to be faultless in order to be agents of God’s mercy.All we have to do is be willing.As we near the conclusion of this season of Advent, we should reflect on how we have served as agents of God’s love.
- What kind of people do we want to be in the future?
- *** Make a modest act of kindness, and you will be helping to prepare the way for Christ.
- *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** Images courtesy of: (1) tektonministries.org; (2) tektonministries.org Assumption Church DC (2) Plain Truth Ministries (3) Assumption Church of DC
Bible Gateway passage: Mark 1 – New International Version
1 The proclamation of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, is marked by the following: B)″>(B) According to Isaiah the prophet, ″I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way″C)″>(C)—3 ″a voice calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’″D)″> ″a voice calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’″C)″>(C)—4 (D) 4 And thus it was with John the Baptist.E)″>(E) came in the desert, preaching repentanceF)″>(F) for the remission of sins and a baptism of repentanceF)″>(F).G)″>(G) 5 The entire Judean countryside, as well as the entire city of Jerusalem, came out to support him.
They were baptized by him in the Jordan River after confessing their sins to him.6 A camel’s hair cloak was worn over his shoulders, a leather belt around his waist,H)″>(H), and he subsisted on locustsI)″>(I), as well as wild honey.7 And this was his message: ″After me comes the one who is more powerful than I, whose sandal straps I am not worthy to kneel down and untie because he is more strong than I.″ J)″>(J) 8 I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.″K)″> ″I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit″ (K)
The Baptism and Testing of JesusL)″>(L)M)″>(M)
In those days, Jesus traveled from NazarethN)″>(N) in Galilee to the Jordan River, where He was baptized by the apostle JohnO)″>(O).10 As Jesus was rising up out of the water, he saw heaven being ripped apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove, which he took to be the Holy Spirit.As a result, a voice from the heavens said: ″You are my Son, Q)″>(Q), whom I adore; I am happy with you.″ ”R)″>(R) 12 At that point, the Spirit sent him out into the desert, 13 and he remained in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan.
T)″>(T) He was in the company of wild creatures, and angels were watching over him.
Jesus Announces the Good NewsU)″>(U)
14 After JohnV)″>(V) was arrested and imprisoned, Jesus traveled to Galilee,W)″>(W), where he preached the good news of God. X)″>(X) 15 ″The moment has come,″Y) says the narrator ″>(Y) he responded. ″The kingdom of God has come quite close to us. (Repent and have faithZ) ″>(Z) The good news has arrived! ”AA)″>(AA)
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
During his stroll around the Sea of Galilee, Jesus noticed Simon and his brother Andrew tossing a net into the water; they were fishermen, and Jesus observed them.17 I’ll send you out to fish for people,″ Jesus replied, inviting people to come and follow him.18 They immediately abandoned their nets and followed him.
AB)″>(AB) 19 After a little while, he came across James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in a boat preparing their nets.They left their father Zebedee and the hired men on the boat with the hired men and followed him without any further ado.
Jesus Drives Out an Impure SpiritAC)″>(AC)
Afterward, when they arrived in Capernaum, Jesus entered the synagogue and started to teach the people there.AD)″>(AD) 22 The people were taken aback by his instruction because he delivered it as if he were in a position of power rather than as instructors of the law.AE)″>(AE) 23 At that moment, a man in their synagogue who had been possessed by an unclean spirit screamed out, ″I am possessed by an impure spirit!″ ″What do you want with us, AF)″>(AF) Jesus of Nazareth?″ 24 ″What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?″ Is it your intention to destroy us?
AG)″>(AG) I am aware of your identity—you are the Holy One of God!″ AH)″>(AH) 25 AH)″>(AH) 25 AH)″>(AH) 25 ″Be silent!″ Jesus demanded emphatically.″Come out of him, you jerk!″ ″>(AI) 26″>(AI) Suddenly, the filthy spirit shook the guy hard and screamed its way out of his body.The letter AJ)″>(AJ) 27 The folks were all taken abackAK)″>(AK) to the point where they started asking each other, ″What is this?″ A fresh teaching method—and one that has authority!His directives are even carried out by filthy spirits, who follow his directions.″ 28 The news of his death spread fast across the whole regionAL)″>(AL) of Galilee.
Jesus Heals ManyAM)″>(AM)AN)″>(AN)
When they left the synagogue, they proceeded to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John, who had accompanied them to the synagogue.30 Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and they informed Jesus of her condition right away.31 As a result, he approached her, grasped her hand, and assisted her to her feet.
(AP)″>(AP) The fever had subsided, and she had begun to await their arrival.Those who were ill or tormented by demons were brought to Jesus that evening after sunset by the crowds, 32 AQ)″>(AQ) 33 The entire town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed a great number of people who were suffering from various ailments.AR)″>(AR) He also drove forth a large number of demons, but he did not allow the demons to speak because they were aware of his identity.AS)″>(AS)
Jesus Prays in a Solitary PlaceAT)″>(AT)
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus rose from his bed, left the house, and walked out to a secluded area, where he prayed for a long time.AU) AU) AU) AU) AU) AU) AU) ″Simon and his pals started on a search for him, 37 and when they finally located him, they exclaimed: ″Everyone is seeking for you!″ 38 Jesus responded, ″Let us travel somewhere else—to one of the adjacent villages—so that I might speak there as well.That is the reason I’ve come.″ 39 As a result, he toured throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagoguesAW)″>(AW) and casting devils out of people.
Jesus Heals a Man With LeprosyAY)″>(AY)
40 A guy suffering from leprosy approached him and pleaded with him on his knees,AZ) ″″If you’re willing, you can clean me up,″ says (AZ).41 Jesus was enraged at this point.He touched the man with his hand as he stretched out for him.
″I’m ready,″ he stated confidently.″Make sure you’re clean!″ 42 The leprosy left him immediately, and he was completely cleansed.43 When Jesus saw him, he immediately sent him away with a stern warning: 44 ″Take care that you don’t tell anybody about this.″ But go, present yourself to the priestBB)″>(BB) and make the sacrifices that Moses instructed for your cleansing,BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>(BC)″>( ″>(BC) as a mark of respect for them.″ 45 Instead, he stepped outside and began to speak freely, spreading the word about the situation.Consequently, Jesus was no longer permitted to visit a town publicly and was forced to remain outdoors in isolated locations.BD) BD) BD) BD) BD) ″>(BD) Despite this, people continued to flock to him from all over the world.BE)″>(BE)
John the Baptist – Prepare the way for the Lord through repentance and baptism!
The narrative of John the Baptist teaches us an essential lesson about life that we should take to heart. John, despite the fact that our Bible appears to have little information on him, communicates to us a basic but vital message about repentance of sins that is still relevant today.
How did John ‘prepare the way’?
We are informed categorically that John was sent to ‘prepare the way’ for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 1:2-3), but what exactly did he do in the course of preparing the way is unclear.″And he went throughout all the country surrounding Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, just as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying out in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,″ according to Luke 3:3-4.″In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the desert of Judaea, and saying, Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,″ according to Matthew 3:1-3.
So, how did the people collaborate with John in order to prepare the way for Jesus to arrive?It says in Matthew 3:6 that they confessed their sins and were baptized as a symbol that they had turned away from their misdeeds.″And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins,″ Matthew 3:6 states.What exactly does it mean to ‘clear the path’?It refers to creating a favorable climate for someone to come to you and operate in your life, or making it simple for them to do so.Take a look at Luke 3:4-5, for example.
It says in the book of Isaiah’s words, ″A voice crying out in the desert, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,″ that we should ″prepare the way of the Lord and make his routes straight.″ Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be lowered; and the crooked will be straightened, and the rough paths will be smoothed out.″ Apparently, John the baptist was attempting to create a favorable atmosphere for Jesus to enter and function in the lives of the people by putting them in a position of trust.The same may be said on the other side of the coin as well.Take note of how John the baptist prepared the way for the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ by preaching repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins before the birth of the Church.He made it possible for Jesus to enter and work in a favorable atmosphere by doing so.The same principle holds true on the opposite side of the coin, when individuals become involved in serious sins in order to acquire access to spirit guides and other such benefits as well.When people become heavily involved in Satanism, they may be tempted to commit grave crimes such as bestiality (having sexual relations with animals) in order to obtain access to spirit guides or other demonic powers.
- Those who commit such actions dirty themselves and create a ″environment conducive″ for the spirits to live and function.
- Sin ‘prepares the way’ for the devil and his demons, but repentance and forgiveness of sins ‘prepare the way’ for the Lord and his angels.
How does this apply to us today?
- I feel the Lord revealed to me a wonderful revelation about how we might ‘prepare the way’ for the Lord in our own life, which I believe was given to me by Him.
- It is stated that John the baptist was dispatched as a fourth messenger to prepare the way for Jesus, but what precisely did he accomplish?
- During his ministry, he preached repentance for sins and baptized individuals in order to obtain forgiveness of their sins.
- Essentially, he was preparing people for Jesus’ advent by convincing them to turn away from their sins and repent!
After all, as Hebrews 12:14 teaches us, ″…holiness is required in order for a person to see the Lord.″ In this narrative, I feel there is a key principle we can take away from it: if we have unconfessed sins in our lives, they can make it difficult for us to’see the Lord.’ We must repent of our misdeeds, turn away from them, and ask for and accept forgiveness (1 John 1:9).When we turn from our sins, we ‘clear the path’ for Jesus to be able to work in our lives!According to 1 John, if we confess our sins, we will not only obtain forgiveness for them (1 John 1:9), but they will also be washed and wiped from us by the blood of the Lamb (1 John 1:10).(1 John 1:7).
They have been expelled from as far away as the east and the west (Psalms 103:12)!Those who refuse to admit their crimes, on the other hand, are told that they will not thrive according to the Bible’s teachings on the subject: ″He who covers his sins will not prosper; but he who confesseth and forsaketh them shall have compassion.″ Accusing ourselves of our faults is not enough, as John clearly demonstrated in Matthew 3:7-8 when he scolded the Pharisees for failing to live up to their confessions.″But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, he condemned them,″ John said.
‘You snake brood!’ he shouted, pointing at the ground.’Who gave you the warning that God’s terrible wrath was approaching?Demonstrate by your actions that you have truly repented of your sins and turned to God.″ (NLT) It is also stated in Proverbs 28:13 that we need to confess and repent of our misdeeds: ″He who covers his crimes will not prosper; but he who confesseth and forsaketh them shall find compassion.″ When Jesus was exalted, the teaching and practice of water baptism and repentance were never halted or curtailed.As a result of His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and gave them the great commission to go forth and proclaim the gospel to every creature (including people of every race and nation) and baptize them (Matthew 28:19).Similarly, as we can see in Acts 2:38, water baptism and repentance were preached and performed among the early Christians as well.
When Peter addressed the crowd, he said, ″Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.″
However, we do know that John was sent forth to pave the way, and he did so by preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins to the people. The Lord, I believe, can function more effectively and efficiently in and through us if we confess and repent of our faults and change from our ways of living.
It is our hope that this session will encourage students to get closer to the Savior by repenting of their sins, maintaining their baptismal promises, and resisting temptation.
- Read, ponder, and pray about the following scriptures:
- Matthew 3:1–12: John the Baptist teaches repentance and baptism, paving the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:13–17: John the Baptist preaches repentance and baptism, preparing the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. John the Baptist performs the baptism of Jesus.
- Matthew 4:1–11 is a passage of scripture. In the desert, Jesus is able to endure Satan’s temptations (John 1:35–51). Following Jesus, a few of John the Baptist’s disciples opt to follow him.
- Additional reading: Mark 1:1–13
- Luke 3:1–22
- John 1:19–34
- 2 Nephi 31
- Bible Dictionary, ″Baptism,″ 618–19
- ″John the Baptist,″ 714–15
- ″Repentance,″ 760–61
- 2 Nephi 31
- Bible Dictionary, ″Baptism,″ 618–19
- ″John the Baptist,″ 714–15
- ″Repentance,″ 760–61
- Bible Dictionary, ″Bapt
- If any of the following images are accessible, please make use of them throughout the lesson: John the Baptist Baptizing Jesus (62133
- Gospel Art Picture Kit 208), and John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness (62132
- Gospel Art Picture Kit 207)
- Suggestions for classroom instruction: Make good use of your class time. Plan what you will discuss and how much time you will spend on each section of the lesson in advance, but then let the Holy Spirit to direct your efforts. Do not bring a worthwhile debate to a close simply to get through the full lesson. It is more vital for class members to understand and experience the Spirit than it is for every item in the lesson to be covered in detail.
Suggested Lesson Development
- Instruct your students that this is the Hebrew term for Messiah, which means anointed.
- According to prophecy, the Jews had been waiting hundreds of years for the arrival of the Messiah, whom they saw as their appointed King and Deliverer.
- Christ is the term used in Greek to refer to the Messiah.
- It had been a long time coming, but Jesus Christ had finally arrived, and John the Baptist had been sent to clear the way for him.
Additional Teaching Ideas
Material in the following section is intended to supplement the proposed lesson outline. You might wish to incorporate one or more of these suggestions into your lesson plan.
1. Insights from the Savior’s baptism
- Review Matthew 3:16–17 for some context. Is it possible to explain how the narrative of the Savior’s baptism demonstrates that baptism should be administered by immersion? (See Matthew 3:16, as well as John 3:23, Romans 6:3–6, and 3 Nephi 11:23–26
- Bible Dictionary, ″Baptism,″ 618, which says that the word baptism comes ″from a Greek word meaning to dip or immerse.″
- What exactly did John witness when he baptized Jesus in the Jordan? (See Matthew 3:16, for example.) Whose voice did he hear in the distance? (See Matthew 3:17 for further information.) Which aspects of the essence of the Godhead does the tale of the Savior’s baptism reveal to us? (The Father in Heaven, the Son in Heaven, and the Holy Ghost are all distinct entities.)
2. Jesus shows respect and love for his mother
- Relate how, following Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, he and his followers went to a bridal feast at Cana (John 2:1–11).
- When his mother informed him that there would be no wine for the feast, he said, ″What do you want me to do for thee?″ ″That is exactly what I intend to do″ (Joseph Smith Translation, John 2:4; see John 2:4, footnote 4a).
- When Jesus spoke to his mother, what did he say that revealed anything about his emotions for her?
- What exactly did he do to assist her?
(See John 2:6–11 for further information.) Point out that this is the first miracle that Jesus does that is documented in the New Testament.)
3. Jesus shows reverence as he cleanses the temple
- Have students read John 2:13–17, which provides a description of Jesus discovering merchants and money changers who were defiling the sanctuary. Discussion questions: If the image Jesus Cleaning the Temple (62163
- Gospel Art Picture Kit 224) is accessible, it should be shown on the screen. Point out that when Jesus ″drove them all out of the temple,. and poured out the changers’ money, and destroyed the tables,″ he was demonstrating respect and regard for the religious establishment (John 2:15). Inform them that showing regard for our heavenly Father entails more than just sitting quietly in church. It entails expressing to him through our acts that we adore him and that we recognize his authority. Previous
Building the Kingdom of God
- Joseph Smith had a revelation from Jesus Christ in 1831, and the Lord instructed him to ″prepare ye the way of the Lord.″ 1, 2 The Prophet urged the Saints to prepare for the Lord’s Second Coming by allowing ″love for God and man to prevail, rule triumphant in every thought,″ so that ″hearts may become as unto Enoch’s2 from the beginning″ of time.
- 3Through revelation, the Lord exhorted Joseph to ″declare His will about the human family″ from ″the heights of the skies.″ He gave His offspring ″fair and holy commandments to govern their behaviour and guide them in a direct way, in order that He may take them to Himself in due time,″ according to the Bible.
- 4 Joseph was well aware of the need of getting ready.
- ″Let the Saints remember that great things are dependent on their individual efforts, and that they have been asked to collaborate with us and the Holy Spirit in order to complete the great task of the latter days.″ 5If we are active in sharing the gospel6 and learn ″not to live for ourselves, but for God,″ we will be successful.
7 After learning from Joseph, we shall prepare ourselves and others in order to be ″ready for the Bridegroom″8 9 when He returns.″When I contemplate the rapidity with which the great and glorious day of the Son of Man approaches, when He shall come to receive His Saints unto Himself, where they shall dwell in His presence, and be crowned with glory and immortality; when I consider that soon the heavens are to be shaken, and the earth tremble and reel to and fro; and that the heavens are to be unfolded as a scroll when it is rolled up; and that every mountain and island are to be driven (See 1:442 in the History of the Church.) ″It is up to us to witness, participate in, and assist in the advancement of the Latter-day glory, also known as ‘the dispensation of the fullness of times,’ in which God will bring together all things in heaven and all things on earth, ″all in one,″…We will be remembered for the blessings of the Most High, and our name will be passed down to future generations; our children will rise up and call us blessed; and generations yet unborn will look back with special delight on the scenes that we have passed through, the privations that we have endured; the unwavering zeal that we have demonstrated; and the all but insurmountable difficulties that we have overcome in laying the foundation of a work that brought about the glory and blessings of the Most High (History of the Church, 4:610).
Hugh B. Brown, Apostle, 1958–1975
″It is our responsibility, as well as yours, to assist in preparing this world for the second coming of Christ″ (The Abundant Life, 336).
Brigham Young, Second President of the Church, 1847–1877
- Elder Young wrote to the Prophet Joseph Smith during his 1840 mission to England, stating, ″The Gospel is spreading, and the demons are screaming.″ As near as I can tell, the priests are screaming, the tares are tying up, the wheat is gathering, countries are trembling, and kingdoms are tottering; ″men’s hearts failing them because of terror, and because they are searching for those things that are coming on the world’″ says the prophet (History of the Church, 4:115).
Mark E. Petersen, Apostle, 1944–1984
- ″To receive the Lord, a contemporary people must be ready to receive him.
- This preparation will only be possible via the proclamation of the restored gospel across the world….
- This preaching will convert the righteous who are looking forward to Christ’s return with bated breath, and they will become members of his Church.
- It will be accomplished by the same ways as John the Baptist.
As a means of carrying out the work in a systematic manner, the Lord fully restored his Church and priesthood in our day and declared that missionaries should go to every nation, tribe and tongue, and people, just as they had done in ancient times.All of this was carried out under the direct supervision of the Savior himself, who dispatched holy angels to minister to the Prophet Joseph Smith during his lifetime.Joseph was the Lord’s forerunner, and he was responsible for starting the preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming.In the meantime, this activity is still being carried out under the supervision of live prophets who have replaced Joseph, and it will continue in every country until the Lord says ″enough.″ ″After that, he will appear″ (Malachi and the Great and Dreadful Day, 21; paragraph divisions altered).
What is my responsibility in preparing for the Lord’s Second Coming?
- ″To accept the Lord, a contemporary people must be prepared.″ This preparedness will only be possible via the proclamation of the restored gospel across the entire world…….
- This teaching will convert the righteous who are looking forward to Christ’s return with bated breath, and they will become members of Christ’s Body.
- That which John the Baptist utilized to accomplish his mission is to be employed once more.
- As a means of carrying out the task in an organized manner, the Lord fully restored his Church and priesthood in our day and directed that missionaries be sent to every nation, tribe and tongue, and people, just as they had been in ancient times.
All of this was carried out under the direct supervision of the Savior himself, who dispatched holy angels to minister to the Prophet Joseph Smith during the time of his imprisonment.Forerunner Joseph was sent by the Lord to begin the preparations for the Lord’s Second Coming.This activity is still being carried out under the supervision of live prophets who have replaced Joseph, and it will continue throughout the world until the Lord declares, ″Enough!″ It is at that point when he will appear″ (Malachi and the Great and Dreadful Day, 21; paragraph divisions altered).
How can I know what God expects of me in preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?
- At one point during His human career, Jesus Christ prayed to God the Father, saying, ″Thy kingdom come″ (Matthew 6:10).
- ″Prepare ye the path of the Lord,″ says the Lord to those who are living in this time period.
- ‘Pray unto the Lord, cry upon his holy name, and make known among the people his magnificent wonders,’ the Doctrine and Covenants states (Doctrine and Covenants 65:3–4).
- ″Call upon the Lord, that his kingdom may go forth upon the earth, that the inhabitants thereof may receive it, and be prepared for the days to come, in which the Son of Man shall come down from heaven, clothed in the brightness of his glory, to meet the kingdom of God which has been established on the earth,″ the revelation through Joseph Smith continued (Doctrine and Covenants 65:5).
Why do people think we worship Joseph Smith?
- It is important that there is no misunderstanding.
- We are Christ’s witnesses in this world.
- ″He is our Redeemer……″ ″However, we are also witnesses of Joseph Smith, through whom we have learned of Christ and who is the legal administrator to whom power has been given to bind on earth and seal in heaven, so that all men from his day forward may be heirs of salvation″ (Bruce R.
- McConkie, ″Joseph Smith: The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,″ Ensign, May 1976, 97; see also ″Joseph Smith: The Mighty Prophet of the Restoration,″ Ensign
Online Resources at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- ″Gathering to the Land of Zion″—Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Handbook (Church Educational System manual, 2003), pp.
- 102–12; ″Gathering to the Land of Zion″—Church History in the Fulness of Times Student Manual (Church Educational System manual, 2003).
- Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 37–39.
- ″The Early Years in Missouri″—in ″Establishing Zion in Missouri,″ Our Heritage: A Brief History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1996), 37–39.
Josiah Jones of Kirtland wrote a newspaper article that was published in the Evangelist in June 1841, in which he noted the missionary activities and eventual conversion of Sidney Rigdon and other individuals.
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord
- Written by Landon Weldy, a sophomore business major from Goshen, Indiana.
- Scripture References: ″In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the Judean desert, saying, ″Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has drawn nigh,″ according to Matthew 3:1-12 (New Revised Standard Version).
- When I read this line, I am reminded of the musical Godspell, which starts with the lyrics ″Prepare ye the path of the Lord,″ which are sung by John the Baptist.
- Soon after, he is joined by the remainder of the ensemble, who joins together in joyful harmony to proclaim the arrival of the Christ child.
It seems appropriate to me that people were preparing for Jesus’ arrival even before he began his public ministry.John taught about the coming of the kingdom and baptized those who were ready to follow his instructions.They were all clamoring for Jesus to arrive as soon as possible.In the same manner, we are asked to make preparations for the arrival of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
As the disciples in Godspell demonstrate in their pursuit of Jesus, I believe the world would be a better place if we all chased Jesus with the same zeal and passion as they did.″Hold on a sec,″ you may say.″So, what precisely is the Kingdom of Heaven?″ you might wonder.
Is it a real kingdom with real people?″Are there going to be horses?″ Well, that’s not precisely true.The definition I was taught as a child is that it is the presence of God’s love and justice in certain locations and times.This implies that every effort we make to have a beneficial influence on those around us – pursuing justice, bringing about peace — is contributing to the realization of God’s will, right now, in the world.The masses were summoned by John to clear the way for the Lord, as Jesus was not going to perform all of the preparations himself.
The same may be said for today.
Scripture: Matthew 3:1-12 (NRSV)
- As a result of his appearance in the Judean desert, John the Baptist preached, 2″Be repentant for the kingdom of heaven has drawn nigh.″ ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his routes straight,’ cries out the prophet Isaiah of one crying out in the desert.
- ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ cries out another.
- 4Now John wore garments made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey, which he collected from the ground.
- 5Then the residents of Jerusalem and all of Judea, as well as the entire region along the Jordan, came out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
7However, when he noticed a large number of Pharisees and Sadducees on route for baptism, he rebuked them, saying, ″You brood of vipers!Who gave you the warning that the wrath of God was on its way?8Bring out fruit that is worthy of repentance.9Do not make the mistake of thinking to yourself, ″We have Abraham as our ancestor,″ for I tell you that God is capable of raising offspring for Abraham from these stones.
The axe is still at the base of the trees; as a result, every tree that does not provide good fruit gets chopped down and thrown into the fire even as I write this.11 ″I baptize you with water in the name of repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me, and I am not worthy to bear his sandals,″ says the minister of religion.He will baptize you in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
12He has his winnowing fork in his hand, and he will clean his threshing floor and collect his wheat into the granary; nevertheless, he will burn the chaff with an unquenchable fire.″
Was John the Baptist Elijah?
- When the Pharisees learned that John the Baptist was preaching and baptizing, they dispatched a team to confront him about his identity and ministry.
- When John refused to acknowledge that he was the Messiah, his interrogators promptly inquired, ″What now?″ ″Do you happen to be Elijah?″ It was a clear and plain response from John: ″I am not″ (John 1:21).
- This appears to be the conclusion of the problem and the end of any potential dispute.
- ″He is Elijah who is to come,″ Jesus declared of John the Baptist later in the Gospel of Matthew (Matt 11:14).
This seeming contradiction naturally perplexes Bible believers, and it provides an opening for Bible opponents to attack the Scriptures as a result.Is John Elijah a real person or is he not?John may have been unaware of his role in God’s redeeming plan, at least on the surface level, according to certain theories.After all, Jesus’ comment about John comes in the context of responding to John’s issues with his own identity, which is a theme throughout the Gospels (Matt 11:2-3).
However, one would have preferred a more gratifying response from John than his ignorance of the situation.It is possible to come up with such a solution by carefully comparing the relevant documents.
NOT THE HISTORIC ELIJAH
- Despite the fact that Malachi 3 foretells a day of divine wrath and salvation, it also reveals that this day would be preceded by the ministry of a forerunner (v.
- As a result, I have dispatched my messenger, who will clear the path in front of me.
- Malachi 4 also predicts the coming of the Day of the Lord, as well as the arrival of a preliminary messenger (vs.
5-6): Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awful day of the LORD arrives.Moreover, he will turn fathers’ hearts toward their children, and children’s hearts toward their dads, lest I come and strike the nation with a judgment of total devastation.(Mal 4:5-6; cf.Intertestamental Jews clung to the hope of texts like Malachi 3 and 4 in their quest for escape from persecution and the establishment of God’s kingdom.
Their expectations were that the historical Elijah, who had been spared death and had ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2), would come back to the world as a precursor of the Messiah, would return to the world.This is obvious, for example, in the Apocryphal book of Sirach or in the Ecclesiasticus, which are both written in Greek (second century B.C.).Following a summary of Elijah’s miracle-filled ministry, chapter 48 says: ″You who were caught up in a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot drawn by horses of fire; you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the heart of the father toward the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob.″ Blessed are those who have seen you, and blessed are those who have been decorated in love; for we, too, will undoubtedly survive.
Revelations 9-10 (RSV) * According to Jewish tradition, if this is what first-century Jews were anticipating, John the Baptist could not have been the prophet Elijah.In fact, he was not the ancient prophet Elijah, who had returned to Earth.He was a completely separate human being from Zechariah and Elizabeth, having been created via reproduction.Therefore, John was accurate in his assertion that he was not Elijah.
BUT ELIJAH NONETHELESS
- However, we must now turn our attention to our Lord’s teaching on John the Baptist.
- In the first place, he defines John in terms of the messenger prophesy of Malachi 3:1 (Matt 11:10; cf.
- Luke 7:27; Mark 1:2ff).
- However, take note of how Jesus frames his link between John and Malachi 4:5’s Elijah prophesy (Matt 11:13-14, which provides a more detailed narrative than the parallel in Mark 9:9-13): In addition, if you are prepared to accept it, the one who is to come is Elijah.
Anyone with ears to hear, please allow them to do so.Two hints are provided here that point to a possible interpretation of Jesus’ words and Malachi’s prophesy.First and foremost, the statement ″if you are willing to accept it″ suggests that what Jesus is saying is incompatible with the way the disciples were accustomed to thinking about their situation.Our Lord’s s