St. John the Baptist is not the Christ, only His forerunner (Acts 13:25). He was called from the womb to bring Jacob back to God through his Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Is. 49:5), just as Christ was the true Servant of the Lord. Miraculously conceived by Zechariah the priest of barren Elizabeth, John was marked to be the greatest born of women (Matt. 11:11). The Church rejoices over the Lord’s mercy just as Elizabeth’s neighbors and relatives did at John’s birth (Luke 1:58). But when Zechariah’s tongue was loosed, John was not the subject of his song. Instead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people” (Luke 1:68). John is the voice crying, “Prepare the way of the LORD” (Is. 40:3); Jesus, the virgin-born Son of God, is that Lord. John is “the prophet of the Most High” (Luke 1:76). He is born “to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,” because Christ the Dayspring is visiting (Luke 1:76–79). Thus, what John preaches is the comfort of iniquity pardoned by Jesus, the promised Savior of Israel (Acts 13:23), so “that [His] salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Is. 49:6).