Homily on the Nativity of John the Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord (St. Luke of Simferopol)

Prophet and Forerunner of the approaching of Christ, worthy of reward, we’re perplexed, who honor you with love.Well, how can we not be perplexed, how can we provide reward worthy of that about which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself stated, that amongst these born of girls, nobody better than John the Baptist has appeared.

How can we reward the one who’s greater than all of the saints after the Most Holy Theotokos?

This is the primary of the saints within the kingdom of heaven.

The deserves of the saints are so nice that we can not depend them. What might be stated about him, concerning the one who appeared to the world within the spirit and energy of Elijah?!

What was the spirit of Elijah the Prophet? You know that it was a fiery spirit, burning with love for God. And the ability of the Prophet Elijah can also be indescribable, for by the ability of his prayer he stopped the rain within the land of Canaan for 3 and a half years, and in a contest with pagan monks about religion, he referred to as hearth from heaven on a sacrifice on which water was poured.

It was in such a spirit and in such energy that John the Forerunner of the Lord got here.

The Holy Prophet Isaiah says that he’s the one who ought to be referred to as “the voice of 1 crying within the wilderness: put together the best way of the Lord, make His paths straight” (Is. 40:3) .

And he accomplished this job. What was this job?

The nice venerable Makarios of Egypt likens the nation inhabited by sinners to a dense forest, overgrown with thorny bushes, likens it to dense thickets of reeds and says that this can be very tough to get via in such a thicket, you could push the branches aside together with your palms, push away the thickets of reeds.

Namely, such was the nation inhabited by Jews earlier than the approaching of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was an especially sinful nation, which had departed from religion within the True God and gone into idolatry.

These had been individuals who sacrificed their youngsters to Baal and Astarte, shedding their blood.

And so the duty earlier than John the Forerunner was to arrange the best way for the Lord on this dense forest. Such a job has by no means been entrusted to an individual, and the best religious powers had been wanted so as to fulfill it.

Let us do not forget that the holy Forerunner of the Lord ready for the success of this job, having lived for greater than twenty years within the wild Judaean desert. He lived alone and away from individuals, with animals; he wore thorny felt garments and slept on the rocks of the desert.

Why was it mandatory? So that, in unceasing prayer to God, in probably the most tough fasting, abstinence and vigil, to accumulate energy just like the ability and spirit of Elijah. And the holy Forerunner of the Lord acquired such energy.

He shook the hearts of the Jews together with his sermon on the banks of the Jordan. He ready the best way for the Lord with this preaching of his, with this fiery name to repentance.

His sermon was so highly effective, so influencing to human hearts, that crowds of individuals got here from throughout Judea to take heed to the denunciations of the Forerunner, to repent and be baptized with the baptism of repentance.

This baptism was mandatory so as to put together for the true baptism within the title of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, which was established by our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Forerunner was utterly fearless: he by no means thought of his personal security, he stood up for the reality so strictly that he was not afraid to show even King Herod in ugly adultery and iniquities. And for this he was executed.

Didn’t God Himself testify to the world about his immeasurable greatness when he despatched the archangel Gabriel to announce to the priest Zechariah that this biggest of individuals can be born from him!

Didn’t the archangel say that he can be crammed with the Holy Spirit from his mom’s womb?

This is why I’ll reward John the Baptist with my weak lips.

And I’ll draw your consideration to a different one.

When the archangel Gabriel introduced to the priest Zechariah {that a} Forerunner can be born from him, Zechariah didn’t consider, though he was full of religion in God. Although he and his spouse Elizabeth had been righteous, however this righteous man didn’t consider.

And did God forgive him this wavering in religion? No, He punished him with a heavy punishment, via the mouth of the archangel he commanded him to be dumb for 9 months, till the time of the success of the prophecy.

This was the punishment of the righteous for unbelief.

And if the Lord so punished the righteous for his wavering in religion, then what is going to occur to us sinners if our religion is just not agency?

We learn from the Apostle Paul within the Epistle to the Hebrews: “But with out religion it’s not possible to please God; for it’s mandatory that he who involves God consider that He exists, and rewards those that search Him” (Heb. 11:6).

Well, how are you going to consider within the One Whom you don’t think about? How can you’re keen on somebody in whom you do not consider? Without religion and with out love, there isn’t any solution to please God. Remember this.

What is required of us is unshakable religion, religion undisturbed by something.

If you ever waver in religion, then do not stay in your wavering, however watch out in order to not endure a heavy punishment for it.

The priest Zechariah, punished by God, was pardoned by Him, and never solely pardoned, however acquired an incredible present of prophecy, for you heard what he stated when his son John the Baptist was born. He stated:

“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, that he visited his individuals, and created deliverance for them, and raised up a horn of salvation for us in the home of David, his servant, as he proclaimed via the mouth of his holy prophets who had been from time immemorial, that he would save us from our enemies and from the hand of all those that hate us … ” (Luke 1:68-71).

What’s this? Isn’t it a prophecy concerning the Lord Jesus Christ? Is it not a prophecy concerning the Savior of the world, the Messiah?

Of course, sure, after all, a really clear prophecy of the approaching of the Savior.

You see, the Lord doesn’t go away with out punishment those that hesitate in religion, however the Lord, having punished Zechariah, forgave, and never solely forgave, but in addition gave the forgiven the nice present of His grace – the present of prophecy.

Therefore, in the event you ever occur to waver in your religion, don’t lose coronary heart. Falls are inevitable in our Christian life.

Remember how the priest Zechariah, the daddy of the Forerunner, was forgiven by God, and hope that in the event you repent, He will increase you up in your Christian dignity and provide the items of His grace with the intention to comply with Him additional.

The Lord will assist.

And in the event you consider this, you already know that the Lord won’t go away you even after your fall.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.



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