“I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.” … Whoever has ears, let them hear.
This passage could come off as a conundrum for Jesus’ disciples. Jesus called them to follow him, they came to learn from this itinerant rabbi. Then he tells them, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Wait a minute, I thought you called us to follow you and to find the Kingdom of God.
True enough—Jesus is pointing them to this prophet who said, “I am not worthy to untie his sandals.” Confusing? I think he was asking them to see in what was happening around them that, indeed, he was who he was telling them he was. Look what’s going on here! Open your ears! Make way for what’s about to happen!
He pointed also to scripture, which his mission was to fulfill. John was the messenger, John was the herald of a new messiah, “… he is the Elijah who is to come.” As the disciples open their eyes, they begin to see, they begin to hear.
O, Lord, let us not be unwilling to hear you coming into the world again. Let us not be unwilling to see you in the retelling of this Nativity story. Let us fall on our knees again, and give you the gift of our hearts. Amen.