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The Rising Of The Prophet

The coming of the Messiah (read the study series from Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah) was long-expected. All Prophecy is centered on His comings (see Why Two Comings Of The Christ? and Jesus Of Nazareth, Prophet Of God). But the first coming of the Son of God seemed sudden; Jesus of Nazareth had lived about thirty years of His life without much public notice, before His appointed time came.

"7:16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 7:17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about." (Luke 7:16-17 KJV)

"They glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, that God hath visited His people"

The public "rising up" of The Christ caught even John the Baptist by surprise (at least perhaps by who it was, rather than the certain knowledge that the Son of God, Who was to be born as a man, then had to be around as someone), which seems somewhat ironic because John's entire life (John wouldn't even have been born if not for his later service to the LORD - see The Other Miraculous Birth) and ministry were intended to prepare the way for the Messiah, an "opening act" for a play that had been written long before by "the LORD God" Who would Himself fulfill the prophecy of His own coming (see Christ The Creator, 'The God Of The Old Testament', 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and Why Did Christ Put Moses To Death?). Nevertheless, the Messiah's answer was undeniable, by anyone with the "eyes to see" - and John surely had them.

The Good Shepherd

"7:18 And the disciples of John showed him of all these things. 7:19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

7:20 When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist [see The Elijah To Come] hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

7:21 And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. 7:23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." (Luke 7:18-23 KJV)

The Messiah then publicly reiterated John's purpose (see The Prophet Of The Judean Wilderness) as a testimony of John, a validation of John's ministry in response to John's validation of Him.

"7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? 7:25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. 7:26 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 7:27 This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like? 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.

7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil. 7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children." (Luke 7:24-35 KJV)

Fact Finder: Christ's return will not be in secret. It will be preceded by great events (e.g. see The Seven Seals and The Last Two Prophets). But nevertheless, for many it will seem sudden. Why?
See Could Christ Return Tonight?

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