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In today’s episode, we will continue the series of the Book of John, and look at why the priests were questioning John’s authority in baptizing people. Also, why did John refuse to acknowledge that he was the Elijah to come, as it was confirmed that he was by Jesus later on? The podcast will answer these questions and more.
[Luke 1:76] “76 And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him”
Here John is called a prophet of God. Not only was he a prophet, but he was also above those before him because of the unique role that God had given him before he was born (see Matthew 11:9-11 & Malachi 3:1-5).
God sent John to get the people’s hearts to soften through repentance (see verse 77), so they would be more inclined to receive Jesus as their Messiah.
[Luke 1:77] “77 to give to His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins”
When people are repentant, they are more open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Repentance is achieved when one is in a humble state, and those are the ones that God will give a mind of understanding and a faith that’s necessary for salvation.
[Luke 1:78] “78 because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the Dawn will visit us from on high”
God’s mercy for the Jewish people is displayed through the ministry of John the Baptist. If God wouldn’t have sent John, the people’s hearts will have remained hardened, and instead of a blessing through the message of Jesus Christ, a curse would come forth from Him.
The word “Dawn” refers to Jesus Christ who will shine the truth on those who live in darkness (see verse 79).
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.” -Malachi 4:5-6 BSB
[Luke 1:79] “79 to shine on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
The phrase “to shine on those who live in darkness” refers to Jesus providing the people who are spiritually blind and live their lives in spiritual darkness that He is the promised Messiah who came to fulfill Old Testament prophecies concerning Himself and save all those who believe in Him.
[Luke 1:80] “80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until the time of his public appearance to Israel.”
The Holy Spirit isolated John from the rest of the people to prepare him for the role and ministry that God created him to do. John needed time to get closer to the Lord, and to have his faith strengthened, to be able to combat the religious leaders, and to meet his death at the hands of King Herod (see Matthew 14:1-12).
The reason why some of you feel lonely, thinking to yourself why God hasn’t given you friends, is that you are being protected from the influence of others. You are in a time of being spiritually strengthened for the task that God has assigned for you.
All Scriptures are taken from the Berean Study Bible version (BSB).