Jesus speaks about John the Baptist
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (11: 11-15) in which Jesus speaks to the crowds of John the Baptist.
In the Gospel last weekend John the Baptist was introduced to us on our Advent Journey and, at that time, Fr Paul mentioned that all four Gospel writers include John the Baptist and, in fact, it is John the Baptist who introduces us to the adult Jesus. He also noted that John is the only religious leader that Jesus ever sought out and John is only religious leader that Jesus ever spoke of with deep affection and admiration.
Earlier this week when we celebrated the Immaculate Conception, we heard of Elizabeth also with child for nothing was impossible to God and we know she went on to give birth to John the Baptist.
Because of these things it has been suggested, at various times, that Jesus was initially a disciple of John the Baptist. At some point, it seems Jesus had the humility to learn from Mary and from John. It may also be the reason Jesus acknowledges and praises John so much.
Think of the words from today’s Gospel, ‘of all the children born of women a greater than John the Baptist has never been seen’; that’s high praise indeed!
Fr Paul says we see the fulfillment of the prophecies in today’s Gospel when Jesus says ‘because it was towards John that all the prophecies of Prophets and of the Law were leading and he (John), if you will believe me, is the Elijah who was to return’. John is the fulfilment of these prophecies in the sense that he is the one that is the Elijah, the one to come to say the Son of God is about to arrive.
As our Advent journey continues, we do so in the expectation from John’s message that God is coming.