Last Sunday’s reading from Isaiah (“the voice of one crying out in the desert”) isn’t the only place in the Bible that talks about what’s going to happen before Christ comes. It turns out there are a lot of prophecies about this. Over time, this led to a lot of ideas about who would be involved.
Which is why (in Sunday’s Gospel) John gets questioned about who he is - “Are you the Christ?” “Are you Elijah?” “Are you the prophet?” And John answers each question with a simple “No.”
But even with John's direct answers, because he’s doing so many things that go right to the heart of the prophecies, they have to ask him who he is again.
So John spells it out for them. And his answer stops them in their tracks.
More on this tomorrow.