The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday In The Fourth Week Of Advent
Why was it important to highlight John the Baptist in the Gospels? Some thoughts…
- It was about 400 years since the last prophetic voice in Israel/Judea, and now John came and captured the imagination of the people, in a way they began hopping, at last their reproach was taken away, and God now was beginning again to get involved with His people.
- The Jews believed that the time was ripe for Daniel’s prophecy of the Messiah coming, but they also believed that before Him, His messenger would announce/herald His coming. This messenger they believed would be the Prophet Elijah, who had been taken to Heaven directly on a heavenly chariot, and had not succumbed to an earth death. Now they began to associated John the Baptiser to be that Messenger. And Even John said so, that his role was that of the announcer of the King, whose sandals he was unworthy to even untie.
- John the Baptist did a great number of signs and spoke the raw truth, like when he accused Herold of unlawfully taking his brother’s wife, as his own wife. He gained a lot of popularity, respect and importance in Jewish Society, even the Pharisees and the Scribes were in awe of him.
- John the Baptist pointed to his disciples, the Messiah/Saviour – Jesus of Nazareth, and proclaimed Him as the Hope of Abraham/the World – by announcing him as the ‘Lamb of God who would take away the Sin of the World,’ (Gen 22:8a).
Considering all this, when Jesus came on the scene, He did not openly identify Himself as the Messiah. People were in two minds, and so to reiterate John the Baptist’s affirmation of Jesus as Messiah,
- The Gospel writers first establish John the Baptist’s authority as Prophet come from God.
- Like Samson, announced with Angelic News
- Like Jeremiah, consecrated from the womb
- And the state of this clothing, hair, food etc pointed to the fact that he was a Nazorean (Consecrated to God) for life…
- In mentioning John the Baptist’s parents and how they responded to the Message of them conceiving in old age, the author seeks to tell us it is not easy for humanity to believe God is close at hand, and working in its life, to bless us and fulfil us, but we should choose rather to believe by looking at all the goodness happening in your life. And when you place God above everything in your life; this is reality, not a possibility or a probability.
Choose then to believe today and accept the Goodness of God, and God being close at hand, and ask Him to come and bless your life with His presence…