Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Now it was the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod was ruler of Galilee, his brother Philip was ruler of the regions of Ituraea and Trachonitus [Note: These two men were sons of Herod the Great (See Matt. 2:1) and ruled over provinces east of the Jordan River] and Lysanias was ruler of Abilene [Note: This was a province just north of the two previously mentioned ones].
It is true when I tell you, among [all] those born of women, no one greater than John the Immerser has come along. Yet the least significant person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
He told his servants, "This must be John, the Immerser; he has risen from the dead and [that explains how] these powers can work through him [i.e., Jesus]."
They replied, "Some say you are John the Immerser; some [the prophet] Elijah; and others [the prophet] Jeremiah, or one of the [other] prophets [come back to life]."
But I tell you that Elijah has already come, but they [i.e., the Jewish leaders] did not understand who he was, but [instead] did to him what they wanted to. In the same way, the Son of man will also suffer from what the Jews will do."
Where did the immersion of John come from? From heaven or from men?" And they discussed this among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'from heaven,' He will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe his message?'
John [the Immerser] came immersing people in the desert and proclaiming that those immersed on the basis of their repentance would receive the forgiveness of sins [from God].
But when King Herod heard [about Jesus], he said, "John, whom I [had] decapitated, has risen."
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid Zacharias, for your earnest prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will give birth to a son and you will name him John.
[During this time], while Annas and Caiaphas [Note: This man was Annas' son-in-law. See John 18:13] were head priests, God's message came to John [the Immerser], son of Zacharias, [when he was] in the desert [of Judea].
There was a man sent from God whose name was John [the Immerser].
John replied to them, "A person cannot receive anything, unless it has been given to him from [God in] heaven.
from His immersion by John [the Immerser] until He was received up from us [in a cloud]. Of these people [we must choose] someone to become a witness with us [i.e., to tell people] of Jesus' resurrection [from the dead]."
His coming occurred after John [the Immerser] had preached to Israel that those who repented should be immersed [as evidence that they had done so].
Paul [again] asked, "Into what were you immersed then?" They answered him, "Into John's immersion."
In his preaching John said, "One who is more powerful than I am will follow my ministry. I am not [even] worthy to stoop down and loosen the straps of His sandals [i.e., to serve as His slave].
He will go on ahead of the Messiah [See verse 76], in the spirit and power of Elijah, to rekindle the affections of fathers for their children, and [to influence] disobedient people to live wisely like righteous people. And he will prepare the people to be ready for [the coming of] the Lord."
And he will influence many Israelites to turn to the Lord their God.