This post was originally published on this site

Today the Holy Orthodox Church commemorates the beheading of the glorious prophet, forerunner, and Baptist John. The Church reverences the holy saint with three separate and distinct titles: prophet, forerunner and Baptist. The first title associated with St. John is prophet. This is due to the fact that the Holy Orthodox Church widely considers St. John to be the last and greatest prophet of the Old Testament. His role as prophet is reaffirmed by Christ Himself in the Gospel of St. Matthew when he says: “Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. (Matthew 11:9,14). His role as prophet is once again reaffirmed by his own father prophet Zachariah in the Gospel of St. Luke when he proclaims: “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High” (Luke 1:76). In addition, these proclamations fulfill Old Testament prophecy which prefigure St. John’s role as prophet. In Malachi 4:5, it is written: “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes”. Therefore, we see that the role of St. John as prophet is not only pre-figured in Old Testament scripture, but is also re-affirmed by Christ Himself.