By St. Theodore the Studite
Therefore, it appears to me applicable to signify the greatness of the Forerunner within the following picture. Just as an atypical king, leaving the royal chambers, has as his predecessors lictors and mace-bearers, after which hypats, iparchs and brigadiers, after which some excessive dignitary, behind whom the king himself instantly seems, shining with gold and treasured stones: so ought to one take into consideration the true and the one common King, Christ our Lord. For He, who was to enter into the universe with flesh, was preceded by the patriarchs – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob – then the God-seer Moses, Aaron and Samuel, and the entire refrain of the prophets; lastly, John appeared, and instantly after him the Lord Christ, about whom John says: “This was he of whom I spoke: He that comes after me is most popular earlier than me, for he was earlier than me” (John 1:15), – and the final so as is the very best in dignity, based on comparability. Thus, the good Forerunner is larger than the prophets, and the apostles, and all others, based on the phrase of the true Word Christ: he’s larger than the prophets, as succeeding them, and the apostles, as previous them.From the Homily on the Nativity of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist.