“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
King James Version (KJV)
1:17 He shall go before him, Christ, in the power and spirit of Elijah - With the same integrity, courage, austerity, and fervour, and the same power attending his word: to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children - To reconcile those that are at variance, to put an end to the most bitter quarrels, such as are very frequently those between the nearest relations: and the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just - And the most obstinate sinners to true wisdom, which is only found among them that are righteous before God.
Lu 1:17 In the spirit and power of Elijah. The likeness of John the Baptist to Elijah strikes us not only in his outward appearance, his clothing and way of living, but in his spirit and character as a preacher of repentance. Turn the hearts of the fathers. These are the last words of the Old Testament, there uttered by a prophet, here expounded by an angel; there concluding the law, and here beginning the gospel (Mal 4:6). To make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This was his mission, but it was only partially successful. The common people, who heard him gladly, received with gladness the Messiah; the scribes and Pharisees, who rejected the forerunner, rejected also the King.