Commentary on the Gospel of
John the Baptist, coming after a lapse of about 200 years of prophecy, was welcomed, and thought of as the long-awaited, long-prayed for, messiah. However, instead of cashing in on people’s expectations, he side-stepped the spotlight, granting Jesus the honours. He was eager to become what God had in mind for him and not what was opportune and advantageous. John’s story is my story too! As Isaiah says, I too am called from birth, and named while in the womb.
The same task John the Baptist had of being a forerunner of Jesus, is my task too. John is the precursor of Jesus in everything. Since his birth and childhood, he points out to Christ. “Who will this child be? He is “the voice which cries out in the desert” (Jn 1:23), inviting all to prepare the way of the Lord. The prophetic mission of John was to testify to God’s mercy. In fact, he will be called Johan, which is “God is mercy”. This mercy is manifested in the visit to the people, precisely “as he had promised by the mouth of His holy prophets of ancient times” (Lk 1:67-70). My task at the moment is to ponder, like the neighbours of Zechariah, on what I am to become, knowing that the hand of the Lord is upon me. I am Yahweh’s gift and He is gracious. Am I grateful?