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Matthew 11:10 & meaning...

This 

is he, of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

Matthew 11:10

Context

Matthew 11 [7.] As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king’s houses. But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.


Meaning:

In this verse, Jesus affirms the identity and mission of John the Baptist by quoting from the prophecy in Malachi 3:1, which states, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you." Through this quotation, Jesus confirms that John is the fulfillment of this ancient prophecy, serving as the messenger who prepares the hearts of the people for the imminent arrival of the Messiah.

  • Fulfillment of Prophecy:

The quotation from Malachi underscores the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in the ministry of John the Baptist. Throughout the Old Testament, there are numerous prophecies anticipating the coming of a forerunner who would prepare the way for the Messiah. John's role as the fulfillment of these prophecies highlights the divine orchestration of history and the continuity between the Old and New Testaments.

  • Preparation for the Messiah:

John the Baptist's ministry was characterized by a call to repentance and preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of God. He preached a message of repentance, urging people to turn away from sin and prepare their hearts to receive the Messiah. In doing so, John played a crucial role in paving the way for the ministry of Jesus and the proclamation of the gospel.

  • Continuity with the Prophetic Tradition:

Jesus' quotation of Malachi 3:1 emphasizes the continuity between John's ministry and the prophetic tradition of the Old Testament. John was not acting on his own initiative but was part of God's larger redemptive plan, fulfilling the role assigned to him by prophecy. This continuity highlights the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promises and orchestrating the events of history according to His divine plan.


Cross References:

Mark 1:2-3: Mark's Gospel also quotes from Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 in reference to John the Baptist's role as the forerunner of Jesus: "As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'"

Luke 1:76: In the prophecy of John the Baptist's birth, his father Zechariah speaks of him as the one who will "go before the Lord to prepare his ways" (Luke 1:76). This further emphasizes John's role in preparing the way for the Messiah.


Matthew 11:10 serves as a reminder of the intricate tapestry of God's plan of redemption, where every prophecy finds its fulfillment in Christ. Through the ministry of John the Baptist, we witness the unfolding of God's divine purpose, culminating in the arrival of the long-awaited Messiah. As we reflect on this verse, we are invited to recognize the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promises and the significance of preparing our hearts to receive the Lord in our lives.


PIB Scriptures are derived from the World English Bible