He is the prophet that Malachi announced when he wrote, 'I'm sending my prophet ahead of you, to make the road smooth for you.'
"Let me tell you what's going on here: No one in history surpasses John the Baptizer; but in the kingdom he prepared you for, the lowliest person is ahead of him.
For a long time now people have tried to force themselves into God's kingdom.
But if you read the books of the Prophets and God's Law closely, you will see them culminate in John, teaming up with him in preparing the way for the Messiah of the kingdom.
Looked at in this way, John is the 'Elijah' you've all been expecting to arrive and introduce the Messiah.
"Are you listening to me? Really listening?
"How can I account for this generation? The people have been like spoiled children whining to their parents,
'We wanted to skip rope, and you were always too tired; we wanted to talk, but you were always too busy.'
John came fasting and they called him crazy.
I came feasting and they called me a lush, a friend of the riff-raff. Opinion polls don't count for much, do they? The proof of the pudding is in the eating."
Next Jesus let fly on the cities where he had worked the hardest but whose people had responded the least, shrugging their shoulders and going their own way.