Isaiah 9 : 6 says, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
An angel using words from Malachi 4 :5–6 announced John will go on before the Lord. Luke 1 :17, And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
John’s father, Zechariah, also used words from Malachi 3 :1, See, 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 convenant, whom you desire, will come, says the Lord Almighty. By God’s spirit, Zechariah prophesied (told ahead of time) « And you, my child (John), will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him. See Luke 1 : 76, And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most ; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him.
God’s promises made through Malachi earlier were coming true. God was ending His long silence. Just as He promised, He was speaking through an « Elijah.
John was not the Elijah of the Old Testament. See John 1 : 21, They asked him, Then who are you ? Are you Elijah ? He said, I am not. Are you the Prophet ? He answered, No. See also Luke 9 : 30. Two men, Moses and Elijah. But John was like that prophet in many ways. Matthew 11 : 7 - 14, As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John ; What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind ? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in Kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet ? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written : I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you. I tell you the truth : Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist ; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, He is the Elijah who was to come. Read also Matthew 21 : 25–26, John’s baptism – where did it come from ? Was it from heaven, or from men ? They discussed it among themselves and said, If we say, From heaven, he will ask, Then why didn’t you believe him ? But if we say, From men – we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.
Like Elijah, John spent much time in the desert, See Luke 1 : 80, And the child grew and became strong in spirit ; and he lived in the desert until he appeared publicly in Israel. See also Matthew 3 : 1 – 2, In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.
Like Elijah, his preaching was full of courage. He had « the spirit and power of Elijah ». He John the baptizer spoke out against all sin, even the king’s sin. See Luke Chapter 3. Also see John 1 : 23, John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet. I am the voice of one calling in the desert. Make straight the way for the Lord. Matthew 3 : 1 – 2 says, In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near..
John 1 : 29 – 31, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world ! This is the one I meant when I said, A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me, I myself did not know Him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that He might be revealed in Israel. See also John 1 : 36 – 39, When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, Look, the Lamb of God ! When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, What do you want ? They said, Rabbi (which means Teacher), where are you staying ? Come, He replied, and you will see. So they went and saw where He was staying, and spent that day with Him. It was about the tenth hour.
Look closely at the simplest leaf in nature. It is far better planned than a house, and no one would dare say that a house came about by accident. Its order and design show beyond doubt that it had a builder. See Hebrews 3 : 3 – 6, Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
Wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019.