What does forerunner mean? Forerunner is the one who goes before someone announcing his arrival. It is the one who precedes someone important. John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus Christ, that is, he came before him to announce the Messiah and his work to the people. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way’” (Mark 1:1,2). “And he was preaching, and saying, ‘After me comes One who is mightier than I, and I am not even fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptize you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit’” (Mark 1:7,8). “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29).
In the same way as John the Baptist was the forerunner of Christ, Jesus was the forerunner of the Father. Jesus came before the face of the Father to announce whom the Father is, and what His work is.
- Christ revealed that the works of the Father are good — “Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’”(John 10:32). “Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).
- Jesus revealed the Word of God — “For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God” (John 3:34). “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). This text indicates that the truth is inexistent in the law.
- Jesus revealed the will of God the Father — “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day” (John 6:39). “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3,4).
- Jesus revealed the character of the Father — “And behold, one came to Him and said, ‘Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?’ And He said to him, ‘Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good’” (Matt. 19:16,17).Jesus only did good things: healed the sick, the blind and the lame, preached to the poor, and gave his life for everyone; and even this being so he says that the Father is the One who is good.
- Jesus revealed the Father and dispensed the glory of the Father — “And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, Just as We are one (John 17:22). Jesus did this thing in opposition to the will of Jehovah who had said, “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another” (Is. 42:8). And the glory of the Father is this: “For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light f the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
- Jesus revealed the love of the Father — “God is love” (1 John 4:8). And God loves sinners: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). This is not like in the Old Testament, when God was disgusted with the sinner (Ps. 11:5; 5:5). And the Father pours his love in the hearts of his children, in order that they will also love sinners and save them. “…the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).
- Christ reveals the light of the Father, since the Father is entirely made of light and there is no darkness in him (1 John 1:5). “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness” (John 12:46). And the Father, through Jesus, surrounds us and floods us with his light, transforming us in light: “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14.16).
- Jesus revealed the life of the Father: “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent” (John 17:3). The text suggests that nothing of what we know in the scriptures leads us to eternal life, only the Father and the Son. Read John 5:24-26 and 1 John 5: 10-12. Before Jesus revealed the eternal life that was with the Father, death reigned over all (1 John 1:2).
- In conclusion, Jesus revealed the grace of the Father: “For the grace of the Father has appeared, bringing salvation to all men” (Titus 2:11). God, the Father, is God of all: “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also” (Rom. 3:29). Jehovah was only god of the Hebrew (Deut. 14:1,2; Amos 3:1,2; Ex. 11:7, 23:32; Num. 10:35; Josh. 11:20).
Just as Jesus came before the Father to make him known, so Moses came before Jehovah to make him known: Moses was the forerunner of Jehovah.
- Moses revealed the works of Jehovah — “…if a calamity occurs in a city has not Jehovah done it? (Amos 3:6). “Behold, I am fashioning calamity against you and devising a plan against you (Jer. 18:11; 21:10). “For I have set My face against this city for harm and not for good” (Jer. 44:27).
- Moses revealed the words of Jehovah, that is, the law (Deut. 4:10-14). A useless law, and one that does not make perfect, according to Heb. 7:18-19.
- Moses revealed the will of Jehovah: to destroy his people — “Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them, and that I may destroy them” (Ex. 32:10; Deut. 9:19). And Jehovah was equally furious in Num. 14:11,12. He destroyed them in the desert (Num. 14:26-37).
- Moses revealed the character of Jehovah — “I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands” (Lev. 26:25). Jehovah is a vengeful God, who maintains his anger against the enemies (Nah. 1:2). Jehovah does not love.
- Jesus gave us the glory of the Father, but Jehovah gave his own glory into the hands of the adversaries (Ps. 78:61).
- Moses revealed the wrath and the wickedness of Jehovah by his innumerable curses pronounced against his people in Deut. 28:15-68.
- Moses revealed Jehovah to be in darkness, not in the light, by giving the law (Deut. 4:10-14; 5:22,23). For this reason the people of Israel lived in darkness (Is. 59:9,10). And also did Jehovah (Ex. 20:21; Ps. 18:11).
- Moses revealed the death there was in Jehovah — “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live” (Ex. 33:20). Jesus, on the contrary, revealed that whoever sees him, receives eternal life (John 6:40).
- Moses revealed the disgrace of Jehovah, for the people believed and followed to death and to their captivities. Why did that happen? Because Jehovah hardened them, even though the people called to him in prayer: “Why, O Lord, dost Thou cause us to stray from Thy ways, and harden our heart from fearing Thee?” (Is. 63:17)
Jesus, on the contrary, saves good and evil, criminals and harlots, condemned and lost through faith in his sacrifice. He delivers also from the curses (Gal. 3:13).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira