Salome with the Head of John the Baptist,
by Andrea Solario
While Yochanan prepared the way for Yeshua’s first coming, we can understand that he has also prepared us for the coming return of the Messiah who will “suddenly” reappear and enter into the rebuilt Temple.
“‘I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (3:1)
In describing His return as suddenly, Malachi is warning us to be prepared for the Messiah’s coming and to not be caught off guard.
However, it seems that Yeshua will not return until a Temple is prepared for Him, perhaps the Temple that the prophet Ezekiel describes at the end of his prophetic book.