Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior.
For the last time we read of John the Baptist before Christmas. As we have heard, John was the last prophet of the old covenant that God made with the people of Israel before Mount Sinai. From the people of Israel would be born the Savior of the promised to Abraham, Moses and others. Then, God sent the prophets to the people to remember his covenant and warn them of the coming of the Messiah.
On Mount Sinai itself, God said these words to Moses: "A prophet, I will raise you up from among your brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he will speak to you all that I command him. And it will happen that to anyone who does not listen to my words that He is to speak in my name, I will call him to account. " (Deuteronomy 18: 18-19). This is a messianic prophecy. The prophet promised to Moses is the Messiah. What did the voice of the Father in heaven say when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist? "This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him. " Jesus is the prophet, the Messiah, because all the words that come out of the mouth of Jesus come from the mouth of the Father.
Messiah is a Hebrew word translated in Greek as Christ. Both words mean "The Anointed One". In the Old Testament, kings, priests and prophets were anointed with oil on their heads. The Messiah would be anointed as king of the lineage of David, a priest according to the order of Melchizedek, as Psalm 110 says, and a prophet like Moses and Elijah.
Therefore, when the Pharisees asked John, Who are you? John said "I am not the Christ".
"And they asked him: What, then? Are you Elijah? And he said: I'm not. Are you the Prophet? And he answered: No. " That is to say, they asked John if he was the prophet greater than Moses and he told them I'm not Him.
Who are you, then? "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord, as the prophet Isaiah said." John was the last prophet sent to the Jews before the coming of the Messiah, to call them to repentance and prepare them for their king, priest and prophet, Jesus Christ.
On the other side, the message of Jesus is for all nations. Jesus came and preached the gospel first to the Jews, but sent his apostles to all nations with the message of eternal life for all who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The next question of the Pharisees was thus: "Why, then, do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" And John answered them, saying: "I baptize in water, but in the midst of you are one whom you do not know. He is the one who coming after me, is before me; of which I am not worthy to untie the strap of His shoes. "
Look, what the Lord says in Deuteronomy 18: 20-22. "But the prophet who has the presumption to speak a word in my name that I did not command him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, the prophet will die. And if you say in your heart: How will we know the word that Jehovah has not spoken? When a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, and it does not happen, or is not fulfilled, it is a word that Jehovah has not spoken; with presumption the prophet spoke; do not be afraid of him. "
Today, as in past centuries, there are many who say, I have a word of prophecy. I know what the future is, what is the destiny of Venezuela, which is your destiny. These prophecies have no value. They will not be fulfilled, or they are so ambiguous that it can mean anything the listeners can believe. The Word of God is clear and sure. And all the Word of God is in the mouth of Jesus Christ. What does not come from the mouth of Christ is not certain.
John baptized people in the Jordan River with water as a symbol of his desire to be clean of heart in the presence of God. But Jesus baptized not only with water, but with water and the Holy Spirit. At the baptism of Jesus by John, the voice of the Father spoke of heaven and the Holy Spirit descended on the Son in the form of a dove. In each Christian baptism, the three persons of the Holy Trinity are present, and the Holy Spirit descended upon the baptized. Because our baptism is water linked with the Word of God, in which the Holy Spirit is active. Then, baptism not only expresses the desire for a clean heart, baptism delivered forgiveness and new life in Jesus.
We are baptized in the same baptism of Jesus to share in the death and resurrection of Jesus. Death is the death to sin and the resurrection is the promise of eternal life.
Like John, the good preacher of the gospel does not point to himself, but points to Jesus Christ. The promise of eternal life is not in the hands of the preacher, but in the Word of God.
This season of Advent has been a time of repentance and preparation to celebrate the first coming of Jesus Christ with the promise of eternal life and to anticipate his second coming in the glory of the fulfillment of his promise. In this we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. Amen.
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