2000-03-21 - Preceded by a Forerunner

The Prophecy Fulfilled Series, Part 6
The Prophecy

Malachi 3:1 "'Behold I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,’ Says the Lord of hosts."

The Fulfillment

Luke 7:24,27, “And when the messengers of John had left, He began to speak to the multitudes about John, ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind?’ … The is the one about whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’”

We all know the story of John the Baptist. It is in Matthew 2:9, 11, when Jesus gets word that His divinely predicted forerunner had appeared in Judea, that Jesus begins His earthly ministry. Christ’s first act is to go to where John is and be baptized by him. John knows who Christ is and is inclined to ask Jesus to rather baptize him. However, Christ wishes otherwise and John Baptizes Him.

This is really the extent of the interaction between Jesus and John. There is no record that they ever met again. John was the herald of the coming Messiah, and once the Messiah is identified and has appeared, it would seem that John would end his role as herald. It does not appear that he did this. It seems that a Baptist church may have continued side by side with the Messianic church for many years, (Matt. 9:14, 11:2, Luke 7:19,11:1, Acts 18:25) even after the execution of John (Acts 19:3).

We know that John the Baptist was executed. Before that time he seems to have a continued ministry and in Matt. 11:3, and Luke 7:19 sends an embassy of disciples to Jesus. It seems that John still had a following even after he baptized Jesus. The Bible is not totally clear on this but this is the way it seems.

The practical implications of Prophecies being fulfilled can be seen in the following story. "Two rabbis, approaching Jerusalem, observed a fox running upon the Hill Zion. Rabbi Joshua wept, but Rabbi Eliezer laughed. 'Why do you laugh?' said the Rabbi that wept. 'No, why do you weep?', demanded Eliezer. 'I weep,' replied Rabbi Joshua, 'Because I see what is written in Lamentations fulfilled: 'Because of the Mount Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.' 'And therefore,' said Rabbi Eliezer, 'do I laugh; for, when I see with mine own eyes that God had fulfilled his threatenings to the very letter, I have a pledge that not one of his promises shall fail; for he is ever more ready to show mercy than judgment.'"

So it is with this promise here. When we see the fulfillment of God's gracious promises in Scripture, we ought remember that God's promises to us in Christ, are just as sure and just as likely to be fulfilled.

Soli Deo Gloria,