Are you Elijah?

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight, the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” John 1:19-23

There is not a lot of doubt that the Jews were expecting the Messiah at the same time as the incarnation. They had read Daniel 9:23-24 and were familiar with the timeline given sometimes known as Daniel’s 70 weeks of years. When Artaxerxes issued his second decree in 445 BC to rebuild the Temple it took 49 years to complete or seven weeks of years. The Messiah was to come 483 years after the decree or 434 years after the Temple was finished (62 weeks of years), remember that 1 AD followed 1 BC, there was no year 0. This would put the triumphal entry in approximately 32 AD.

So when John the Baptist showed on the scene preaching repentance and baptism it was no wonder people thought he might be the Messiah. When John told them he was not the Messiah they then wanted to know if he was Elijah or the Prophet come back to life. Once again John said no, but that he was the one who the prophet Isaiah said would come first crying in the wilderness to proclaim the Chosen One of God.

These people questioning John were not ordinary people but the priestly class from Jerusalem, men who knew the Prophets and were well aware of the timing involved.  It was not just the common folk expecting the Messiah but the learned men of the Temple. Every Jew was living their life in anticipation of God’s Anointed coming during their lifetime.

There were the signs, the prophesies and then the miracles. Everything pointing to Jesus as the Messiah and yet so many missed the greatest event in History happening right before their eyes. John told them and they refused to believe. I wonder if I would have done better. I really hope so, but I wonder.

Have a blessed day,

David

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About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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