Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek…
I. THE GREATNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
1. The angel said he should be "great in the sight of the Lord" (Luke 1:18). He was "a prophet," and "more than a prophet."
2. What is a prophet? A teacher? Yes, but one who is taught directly by God. He not only predicts the future, but he is the revealer of God's will for the present.
3. John was "more than a prophet." This is explained in three ways.
(1) He was prophesied of.
(2) He was more than a prophet in the richness of his illumination.
(3) Through his nearness to Christ — going before the face of the Lord.
4. The praise of Christ is the purest indication and guarantee of the excellence of His forerunner.
II. THE GREATNESS OF HIS WORK.
1. He had to make ready the way of the Lord in souls, by preaching repentance.
2. The most remarkable part of his office was that of pointing out and bearing witness to "the Light."
1. Observe how God uses human agency in the accomplishment of His purposes.
2. The preparation is the same in all approaches of the Lord.
3. The work of the Baptist reminds us of the importance of preparation before Holy Communion, when Christ comes hiddenly to us.
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
WEB: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!" says Yahweh of Armies.