Advent: Week 3: Thursday: Year B:
1st Reading: Isaiah 54: 1-10: Like a forsaken wife, the Lord calls you back.
Gospel: Luke 7: 24-30:John is the Messenger who prepares the way of the Lord.
What Jesus did was reprimand the crowd. He vindicated John and his mission. He reminded the forgetful and fickle that John was the forerunner, and he claimed that He was the true Messiah.
1. The forerunner, John himself proved Jesus was Messiah (Mt 7: 24-23; 11: 7-15).
a. John was a man of conviction and staunchness. He was not like a reed shaken by the wind.
b. John was a man of self denial and sacrifice. He was not a man clothed in soft, extravagant, fashionable clothing. He denied himself and sacrificed the things of the world in order to carry out the work.
c. John was a prophet, a man sent on a prophetic mission. He proclaimed the Word of God, and his proclamation could not be denied. But John was more than a prophet.
i. He was the subject of prophecy as well as the messenger of it.
ii. He was the herald who brought the message to the world that the Lord had come. In this John excelled over all other prophets. They only foresaw the Messiah’s coming, but John saw His come.
d. John was the true forerunner. Note two critical points:
i. Jesus was saying that John was definitely the forerunner of the Messiah, the messenger predicted by the Scripture.
ii. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah before whom John ran and prepared the way.
2. The kingdom of God proved Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus’ invasion into human history divided time and ages. The period of history before Jesus came into the world is known as the age of promise. But since Jesus’ coming, people are living in the time and age of God’s kingdom. John lived in the age of promise, whereas the followers of Jesus live in the kingdom of God. Therefore, the least in the kingdom is greater than the greatest of prophets who lived in the age of promise.
The citizen of God’s kingdom knows the presence of Christ within his body in the person of the Holy Spirit, and he knows the active rule and reign of God in life (1 Cor 6: 19-20; cp. Jn 14: 16-18, 20, 23). However, those who lived in the age of promise only had the hope of the promise (Rom 8: 16-17; Gal 4: 4-6; Mt 11: 11).