I have always understood John’s baptizing ministry as a sifting of true Israel from the nation of Israel. New wine comes with new Sacraments that will not emanate from earthly Jerusalem, but will retain continuity with promises to Israel – because God is, after all, keeping his promises to Israel.
“Anybody offering water-baptism for the forgiveness of sins was saying: you can have, here and now, what you would normally get through the Temple cult. Anybody inviting those who wished to do so to pass through an initiatory rite of this kind was symbolically saying: here is the true Israel that is to be vindicated by YHWH.” http://biblia.com/books/jesusvictygod/offset/737086 via the Logos Bible Android app.
© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.