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What Jesus said about John the Baptist? Naming of John the Baptist

What did Jesus say about John, and how were they related?

Jesus said about John the Baptist: ” That is, of the Jewish priestly tribe. From the Gospel of Luke, we know that “they were both righteous before God, walking uprightly in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. But they had no children, for Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years” (Luke 1:6-7).

Jesus said about John that he is the greatest Prophet. Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins.

Luke the Evangelist tells us that in the time of King Herod, there lived a priest, Zechariah. “Of the priestly company of Abijah,” who was married to Elizabeth, “of the daughters of Aaron.

Zechariah met Archangel Gabriel.

He “will be great in the sight of the Lord; he will drink no wine or other intoxicating drink, and from his mother’s womb, he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. And many of the children of Israel he will turn to the Lord their God.

While Zechariah was serving in the Temple in Jerusalem, he experienced an angelic event and received news from the Archangel Gabriel.

His prayer has been answered, and Elizabeth, his wife, will bear him a son. Whom he will be called John. 

And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, that they may prepare for the Lord a prepared people” (Luke 1:15-17). Instead of rejoicing at this news, Zechariah has a rational reaction imprisoned in a simplistic understanding of things, especially in the face of an angelic event beyond his power of comprehension, forgetting the beautiful cases of childbearing in old age in Old Testament Scripture, primarily of the Patriarch Abraham and his wife Sarah, who had Isaac “in old age, at the time appointed by God” (Acts 21:2).

Read also: Why was St Andrew crucified? Was he the most humble apostle?

The naming of John the Baptist

Zechariah acquires the gift of speech when he shows himself obedient to the word of God sent to him through the Archangel Gabriel and faithful to the divine plan, so he also receives the gift of prophecy in addition to that of speech and proclaims that his son will be “a prophet of the Highest” and will go before the face of the Lord, to show his ways and “to give to his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins” (Luke 1:76-77). In Zechariah’s prophecy, we have the synthesis of his son’s mission as the Lord’s Forerunner.

John got the name on the eighth day, at circumcision, and Luke is related to the event. “And when it was the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child and called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

And answering, his mother said: No! But his name shall be called John. And they said to her: No one of your kindreds is by this name. And they beckoned to his father what he would be called. Asking for a tablet, he wrote, saying: John is his name. They all wondered. And immediately his mouth and tongue were opened, and he spoke, blessing God”.

Life of John the Baptist

John the Baptist’s life in the wilderness served Jesus. They served as a model for the first ascetics of Christianity and later for monasticism. So, John was clothed in camel’s hair, ate honey and locusts, and prayed constantly. The camel hair robe worn by John speaks of the repentance required of both Jews and pagans. At the same time, the garment was worn by St John. Testified to the harshness of the life lived by this Prophet. But what was Jesus’ opinion about John the Baptist?

Read also: Acts of Apostles Summary. What happened to the Apostles?

What clothes did John the Baptist wear?

The man in a state of activity was glowing. St. John is glowing because he is in the work of preaching, prayer, of spiritual work.

The wrapping with a leather belt from a dead animal signifies mortification and the killing of the sinful passions in him. At the same time, in the East, clothes were long and loose; when someone wore a belt, it meant he was ready to work. 

His food, consisting of wild honey and locusts, animals considered clean in the book of Leviticus but which had an unpleasant taste and smell, shows us that eating and tasting good are not the goals of his activity, but that the Prophet John eats only to live, not lives to eat.

The symbolism of the camel hair of John the Baptist?

The most important food is the word of God and prayer, and the clothing represents the clothing with virtues. In the presence and light of the Holy Spirit. This is why the hermits depicted in the painting of the Church have bright clothes and faces because they have clothed themselves in the light of God’s grace.

Camel represents a sign of wealth. The symbolism of spiritual significance is understanding the hermit’s life and seeing beyond earthly things.

For this reason, the forerunner of the Lord is considered the model or prototype of the hermit’s life. And many of the fathers of the desert often lived a life similar to that of St John.

The forerunner of Jesus Christ

John the Baptist is the Forerunner of the Lord, who prepared the way and the crowds for the reception of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. John’s main message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Those who renounced their sins were baptized in Jordan. The ritual accompanying John’s Baptism of the Jews was similar to that described in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

It can be concluded that John was part of the group of Essenes living in the wilderness. But unlike the Qumran Scrolls, where Baptism was an individual ritual, John’s Baptism at Jordan was a group ritual. This Baptism also has an eschatological significance, foreshadowing, as the Prophet himself said. So, the Baptism with “fire and the Holy Spirit” that the Coming One, Christ the Lord, would bring.

Read also: Apostle Andrew. What is Andrew the Apostle known for?

John the Baptist- Jesus of Nazareth

The encounter with Jesus, His Baptism in the waters of the Jordan. The revelation of the Holy Trinity made the prophet exclaim: “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Concluding the existential trajectory of Saint John the Forerunner and Proclaimer of the Lord, in direct communication with Christ the Lord, who also says of the Prophet: “You sent to John, and he confessed the truth… So, He was the lamp that burns and gives light, and you were willing to rejoice for a moment in his light” (John 5:33 and 35). Like a flame, he burned and was consumed who cried out in the wilderness: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! The word that has become a flame of faith burns like a flame and burns the flame to the ground.

Jesus’ baptism

“After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized,” says Luke. So all the people were baptized before Jesus, so John’s Baptism concludes this period of preparation for the coming of Christ. Jesus’ Baptism is only indicated by a word, whereas in Matthew’s Gospel, there is a dialogue between Jesus and John about the fulfillment of God’s justice.

For the early Church, there was a serious question about Jesus’ Baptism: if Jesus was sinless, did he need Baptism? Jesus submits to Baptism to show that he wants to bring to fulfillment God’s plan of saving man and restoring all creation as the New Adam. “To fulfill all righteousness” is God’s plan, His solidarity as a man with the sinful world to the point of sacrifice.

“With the slaves comes the Master, with the guilty the Judge, that they may be baptized,” comments St. John Chrysostom. It is a choice that is part of the mystery of kenosis or God’s willing humility. The Evangelist Matthew gives a similar answer but emphasizes the aspect of obedience. So, the Saviour begins to fulfill what he has undertaken by going to Calvary. His going down and coming up out of the water of the Jordan foreshadows his destiny of suffering and death, his burial and resurrection. “

Without making Himself a sinner by birth. Entirely identical to ours, He takes responsibility for our sin. Out of loving solidarity with us. Thus, by His Baptism at John’s. Christ begins the work of salvation in human nature. Laying the foundation for its liberation from the consequences of sin. And thus also for releasing spirits from sin and its consequences.”

Read also: Who was John the Apostle? Was he the most beloved disciple?

What was John the Baptist’s mission?

The Gospel of Matthew shows that John’s main message was “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Unlike St Matthew, the other two synoptic evangelists, Luke and Mark, use “the Kingdom of God.”

John the Baptist’s mission was to proclaim the Messiah’s approach and baptize those who repented in the Jordan River.

Evangelist Matthew uses the term “Kingdom of Heaven” to show the Jews, to whom he is speaking, the spiritual meaning of Christ’s kingdom, which the Pharisees did not understand, believing in a worldly kingdom of the Messiah.

John the Baptist death-Salome

The moment Jesus said that he will come to John to be baptized was the climax of the Prophet’s mission on the banks of the Jordan. He opened the hearts and minds of the Jews to receive Christ and His word. The seed he sowed would bear fruit: the first disciples of the Lord would be chosen from among those of St John.

John died at Herodia’s party because Salomea danced in front of King Herod. And he promised her that she could ask for anything. 

Because in his sermons, he repeatedly criticized King Herod Antipas for marrying Herodias, the former wife of his half-brother Philip, he was imprisoned. So, at a party with many guests, Salomea, Herodias’ daughter, danced in front of her stepfather. So, He succumbed to the young dancer’s charms and promised her anything. At her mother’s urging, the girl asked for the head of St John the Baptist, and having been killed, the pilot was brought to Salome on a tray. 

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