The Jews were expecting a single Messiah not two.
Please note that three different and distinct questions were posed to John the Baptist and to which he gave three emphatic “NO’S” as answers. To recapitulate:
1) ART THOU THE CHRIST?
2) ART THOU ELIAS?
3) ART THOU THAT PROPHET?
But the learned men of Christendom somehow only see two questions implied here. To make doubly clear that the Jews definitely had T-H-R-E-E separate prophecies in their minds when they were interrogating John the Baptist, let us read the remonstrance of the Jews in the verses following:
“and they asked him, and said unto him, why baptizest thou then, if thou be
a) NOT THAT CHRIST,
b) NOR ELIAS,
c) NEITHER THAT PROPHET?” (John 1:25)
The Jews were waiting for the fulfillment of THREE distinct prophecies: One, the coming of CHRIST. Two the coming of ELIAS, and Three, the coming of THAT PROPHET.
If we look up any Bible which has a concordance or cross-references, the we will find in the marginal note where the words “the Prophet”, or “that Prophet” occur in John 1:25, that these words refer to the prophecy of Deuteronomy 18:15 and 18. And that ‘that prophet’ – ‘the prophet like Moses’ – “LIKE UNTO THEE”, we have proved through overwhelming evidence that he was MUHUMMED and not Jesus!
We Muslims are not denying that Jesus was the “Messiah”, which word is translated as “Christ”. We are not contesting the “thousand and one prophecies” which the Christians claim abound in the Old Testament foretelling the coming of the Messiah. What we say is that Deuteronomy 18:18 does NOT refer to Jesus Christ but it is an explicit prophecy about the Holy Prophet MUHUMMED!”