The prophecies about Jesus are many, old, strung together, and cohesive, but it’s the peripheral prophecies that are amazing!
13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. Luke 1:13
Yesterday, we looked at portions of the first chapter of John. In it was mentioned a man named John. We know him as John the Baptizer, or, John the Baptist. Here is that passage,
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
John’s birth was foretold by the angel, Gabriel, in Luke 1:5-25. His birth was itself a miracle sent from God, but not like the birth of Jesus. Zechariah was John’s dad. What made John so special, besides him being a Nazirite (Luke 1:15), is the prophecies that he would fulfill,
3 A voice of one calling:
“In the wilderness prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people will see it together.
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:1
5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful* day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.” Malachi 4:5-6
Gabriel actually quotes verse 6 in his conversation with Zechariah (Luke 1:17).
Jesus had this to say about John,
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John (Malachi being the last). 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Matthew 11:11-14
This same John was sent from God as a witness to testify concerning Jesus. What did John have to say about Jesus?
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12
Don’t worry. His prophecy about unquenchable fire had to do with the leaders of his day. For those who accepted Jesus (even today), He baptized them with the Holy Spirit and fire. This fire had to do with the cleansing of His people by the blood of Jesus; see Isaiah 4:2-4. This passage mentions the Branch of the Lord. We will look at its meaning tomorrow. For today, let’s give thanks for John the Baptizer who prepared the way of the Lord, and for the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit in whom we have been baptized.
Abba, Your fire rests in my soul. Just like the disciples in the upper room at Pentecost, Your flame burns in my heart. Thank You for cleansing me with the blood of Jesus. I stand amazed in Your presence! Amen.
*Peter quoted Joel 2:31 from the Septuagint in Acts 2:20 which uses the word, “glorious” rather than “dreadful.”