“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus. They have similarities. They are cousins. They both to bring in God’s kingdom. They both gather disciples and teaching the crowds. They both face opposition from the established religious leadership. They both are killed for the threat they represented to the state.
But there are differences…
John sees the coming Messiah as the one who will replace the established order and be the new broom that sweeps clean.
Jesus sees himself as an agent of God’s kingdom of Peace. He doesn’t proclaim a overthrow of the establishment… Rather he points to God’s different priorities… The first shall be last.
Both voices are to be heard.
But the presence of God in Jesus brings about the Spirit’s change of peace within us.