What is the meaning of Matthew 11:10? "This is the one about whom it is written: I will send my messendger ahead of you who will prepare your way before you go."


In this passage, Jesus is telling his followers that John the Baptist is the promised "Elijah, who is to come."  The coming and the career of John the Baptist was a fulfillment of the prophecy found in 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 covenant, whom you desire, will come."  Also, Malachi has (Malachi 4:5) "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts fo the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."An angel expressed the same idea in a different way in 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 disobediennt to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."  In still another passage, Jesus said to his followers that John the Baptist is "The Elijah who is to come."  Remember that the Jews expected Elijah to come before the Day of the Lord (Matthew 16:14).  John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way for the Messiah to come to Israel, fulfilled the prophecy and the expectation of Israel for Elijah to figuratively come to Israel.

John Oakes


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