We earn 8% in referral fees when you shop Amazon through our link. We make it easy! Click to learn how.
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catechism of the Catholic Church

John, precursor, prophet, and baptist

717 "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." 89 John was "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb" 90 by Christ himself, whom the Virgin Mary had just conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary's visitation to Elizabeth thus became a visit from God to his people. 91

718 John is "Elijah [who] must come." 92 The fire of the Spirit dwells in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of "[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord." 93

719 John the Baptist is "more than a prophet." 94 In him, the Holy Spirit concludes his speaking through the prophets. John completes the cycle of prophets begun by Elijah. 95 He proclaims the imminence of the consolation of Israel; he is the "voice" of the Consoler who is coming. 96 As the Spirit of truth will also do, John "came to bear witness to the light." 97 In John's sight, the Spirit thus brings to completion the careful search of the prophets and fulfills the longing of the angels. 98 "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.... Behold, the Lamb of God." 99

720 Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of "the divine likeness," prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John's baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth. 100

Notes:

89 Jn 1:6.

90 Lk 1:15, 41.

91 Cf. Lk 1:68.

92 Mt 17:10-13; cf. Lk 1:78.

93 Lk 1:17.

94 Lk 7:26.

95 Cf. Mt 11:13-14.

96 Jn 1:23; cf. Isa 40:1-3.

97 Jn 1:7; cf. Jn 15:26; 5:35.

98 Cf. I Pet 1:10-12.

99 Jn 1:33-36.

100 Cf. Jn 3:5.

English Translation of the Cathechism of the Catholic Church for the United States of America © 1997, United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Don’t touch that Smile! Helping CatholicCulture.org by shopping on Amazon. 0 hours ago
Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists March 1
Ad Imaginem Dei: a gem of a blog on Christian art February 28
The Complexities of Persecution February 27
Ukraine: A great lesson in thinking like a Catholic. February 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5