3. John the Baptist
It is he [John the Baptist] who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. (Luke 1: 17)
Unlike Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist did not have a powerful signs and wonders ministry. Instead, John was primarily a prophetic voice.
But much like Elijah, who arrived on the scene without any advance warning, John the Baptist did the same. One day, he was a man hidden away in the wilderness, and the next day, he was standing at the Jordan River, preaching, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan. (Matthew 3: 5)
And the crowds showed up to listen to his message and to be baptized. He was the man!
Yet, his ministry only lasted six months. But in that small amount of time, John the Baptist stirred the hearts of the people so that they were prepared for the arrival of the Promised One who immediately followed him.
Jesus Himself validated the ministry of John the Baptist as an Elijah-type of prophet when He said:
For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, John himself is Elijah who was to come. (Matthew 11: 13-14)
Yes, John was filled with the Holy Spirit from when he was within his mother’s womb. Yes, he was a cousin, first removed, of Jesus, but unlike the Lord, John was a Levite, not from the tribe of Judah.
But what was it that set John apart from the other prophets and made him an Elijah-type of prophet? And who are the remaining two prophets?
(Continued in Part 6)