MacArthur on Matthew 11:13

I still haven’t gotten far in trying to understand Matthew 11:13 and the phrase “until John“.

Matthew 11:13-14 (ESV)

13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John,
and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come.

Here is a comment John MacArthur made about the verse in a sermon on John the Baptist – True Greatness.

Then verse 13, John is the culmination of everything, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” He is the culmination. Everything from Genesis to John is moving along to the moment that he pointed to Christ. And it was all one message from Genesis to John was one message – The Messiah’s coming, the Messiah’s coming, the Messiah is coming. And he was the culmination. He was it.

What a commendation. He is the focus … everything is swirling around him. The kingdom is moving violently through the godless, human system. And eager, vigorous people are pressing into it. Why? Because this is the climax, everything has built up to John.


6 thoughts on “MacArthur on Matthew 11:13

  1. So the “until John” seems to refer to the prophecies of Jesus’ coming to earth coming to a point. Those prophecies ended with John. Makes sense. There would be no sense in anymore prophecies after Jesus was on earth and in His ministry. There are prophecies concerning His death but those naturally would come after John. Interesting and thank you for this.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    That seems to be what MacArthur is saying and also seems to be explanation given in the ESV Study Bible.

    But of course, I won’t be satisfied until I research it even more. Why “until John” instead of “until Jesus”? ……

    Berean Wife

    Paul Reply:

    It’s my understanding that it was the bearer of the Good News and not the actual Good News that ceased. John told the world about Jesus and when his mission was accomplished then he was called home. This is why it wasn’t written, “Until Jesus”, because the subject and object of the context was the prophets proclaiming the coming Messiah not the Messiah Himself.

    Berean Wife Reply:


    Oh, I understand that, just seems like the focus through the prophets and the law where more on Christ’s coming and not on John the Baptist proclaiming it. But there is a reason that verse is worded how it is. Maybe at some point it will be more clear to me because it seems the prophets and the law also speak to the second coming of Jesus, which is beyond John the Baptist.

    Berean Wife

  2. John sole purpose since Elizabeth pregnancy was to prepare the way for the messiah. After john there would be no more need for prophets because everything that was announce by the prophets of old was fulfilled

    Berean Wife Reply:


    I can’t disagree with you. That is what it seems to mean. I just wonder more about “the Law” being included in that statement. It will definitely be a passage I come back to over and over through the years and grapple with.

    Berean Wife

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