Mark 1:7

And preached, saying, There comes one mightier than I after me, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Neither repentance avails without grace, nor grace without repentance; for repentance must first condemn sin, that grace may blot it out. So then John, who was a type of the law, came baptizing for repentance, while Christ came to offer grace.

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
John therefore was a foreteller of Christ, nearer to him in time than all who went before him. And because all the righteous ones and prophets of former times desired to see the fulfillment of what, through the revelation of the Spirit, they foresaw should come to pass—so also the Lord himself says that “many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.” Therefore it was said of John that he was more than a prophet, and that among all that were born of women there was none greater than he, because to the righteous who went before him it was only granted to foretell the coming of Christ, but to John it was given both to foretell him in his absence and to behold him in his presence, so that it should be found that to him was made manifest what the others had desired. Answer to the Letters of Petilian, the Donatist ...

Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
As a witness for simplicity in shoes let John suffice, who avowed that "he was not worthy to unloose the latchet of the Lord's shoes.". While he, though speaking more perspicuously as no longer prophesying, but pointing out as now present, Him, who was proclaimed symbolically from the beginning, nevertheless said, "I am not worthy to loose the latchet of the Lord's shoe." ...

Cyril of Jerusalem

AD 386
Even though Elijah the Tishbite was taken up to heaven, he was not greater than John. Enoch too was translated but was not greater than John. Moses was the greatest of lawgivers and all the prophets were admirable, but none greater than John. It is not I who would dare to compare prophet with prophet, but their Master and ours who himself declared “Among those born of women there is none greater than John.” Not “born of virgins,” observe! but “born of women.” ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
One mightier than I. The precursor does not yet openly declare our Lord to be the Son of God, but only one mightier than himself. The Jews were not prepared to receive his coming; he therefore wisely led them by degrees to the knowledge of what divine Providence had designed them; he yet secretly assures them that he is the Son of God. I have baptized you with water, but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Now it is evident that none but God can bestow upon man the grace of the Holy Spirit. (Ven. Bede) ...


AD 420
As he himself bodily preceded Christ as his forerunner, so also his baptism was the prologue to the Lord’s baptism.


AD 420
“One mightier than I is coming after me, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” The meaning of the words: “He must increase, I must decrease,” is that the gospel must increase, but I, the law, must decrease. John, that is, the law in John, was clothed, therefore, in the hair of a camel, for he could not wear a tunic of the lamb of whom it is said: “Behold the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world;” and again: “He is led like a lamb to the slaughter.” In the law, we cannot wear a tunic from that Lamb. ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
John was setting forth the anticipatory and ancillary value of his own baptism, showing that it had no other purpose than to lead to repentance. He did not say he baptized with water of forgiveness, but of repentance. He pointed toward Christ’s baptism, full of inexpressible gifts. John seems to be saying: “On being told that he comes after me, you must not think lightly of him because he comes later. When you understand the power of Christ’s gift, you will see that I said nothing lofty or noble when I said ‘I am unworthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’ When you hear, ‘He is mightier than I,’ do not imagine that I said this by way of comparison. For I am not worthy to be ranked so much as among Christ’s servants, no, not even the lowest of his servants, nor to receive the least honored portion of his ministry.” Therefore John did not simply say, “his sandals,” he said “the thong of his sandals,” the part counted the least of all. The Gospel of St. Matthew, Homily ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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