Baptist John in the spirit and power of Elijah

Posted by Yong Joo Park on 19 December 2021 in James, John, Luke, Malachi, Matthew |

Let us study John 1:21a about Baptist John to learn what is important to us as evangelists.

John 1:21a They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ He said, ‘I am not.’

Prophet Malachi foretold God would send the prophet Elijah. See Malachi 4:5-6.

5 ‘See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.’

Elijah means “Yahweh is God”. 1 King 17-19, 21 and 2 King 1-2 record the ministry of Prophet Elijah.

James 5:17-18 describes the spirit and power of Elijah through an example.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

The angel of God foretold Zachariah, the father of Baptist John, 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 parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’

Based on Luke 1:17, Baptist John works in the spirit and power of Elijah.

Jesus said about Baptist John in Matthew 11:14.

“And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”

“If you are willing to accept it” indicates that Baptist John is an Elijah only if people would perceive him as a spiritual and powerful prophet like Elijah. So, Baptist John works in the spirit and power of Elijah, but he is not identical to the prophet Elijah lived in the Old Testament. He is not Elijah but an Elijah. Therefore, Baptist John answered, “I am not Elijah.”, in John 1:21a.

An evangelist acts as Baptist John for unbelievers. He/she prepares the ways for the Lord in their hearts. Therefore evangelists are encouraged to be spiritual and powerful as prophet Elijah.

Part 1_v21_Elijah

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