Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Testimony of John the Baptist (St. Theophan the Recluse)


By St. Theophan the Recluse

Saint John bore witness of Christ Jesus, that He is in truth "the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), that He is the promised Deliverer, awaited by all. Those who were near him heard this and believed. From them this witness passed on to the people, and everyone began to think that he of whom John bore witness was not an ordinary man. The Savior pointed this out when in the last days in the temple, he proposed to the heads of the temple a question: whence was the baptism of John, from heaven or of men (cf. Mark 11:29)? They refrained from answering, because it was impossible for them not to see that John came baptizing with water not of himself. But if they were to say this, they would immediately have to acknowledge John’s testimony that the Promised One was before them, and therefore be compelled to submit to His teaching. But they did not want to submit, not for any well-founded reasons, but solely because of their prejudice. But their obstinacy does not in the least lessen the power of the witness of St. John. To this day, it is as certain as it was when it came forth from his mouth. We hearken unto John who shows us the true Deliverer; and through this we enliven our faith, as a faith which has tangible proof behind it.


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