Jesus gives us a very important lesson on how to read Old Testament prophecy in Matthew 11. Jesus is teaching about the importance of John the Baptist and his role as the forerunner to the Messiah. The prophet Malachi’s words are quoted by Jesus, “This is the one about whom it is written: ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’” Jesus goes a step further. Malachi had prophesied that God would send the prophet Elijah to Israel again. Jesus comments, “And if you are willing to accept it, he [John the Baptist] is the Elijah who was to come.” (Matt 11:14). This is an important lesson because it shows that the New Testament determines for us how we ought to read the prophesies of the Old. Not always to be taken literally (John the Baptist wasn’t literally Elijah reborn, but an Elijah type figure), Scriptures prophesies are to be taken seriously!