The Deisis represents the Lord with His Holy Saints and Angels supplicating towards Him. Their hands are outstretched and their heads are bowed towards Christ sitting on the Throne of His Kingdom which will never end. This icon is a part of such a 13th century set from Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos.
From his very birth (Luke 1), St. John became famous throughout Israel by virtue of the divine signs which attended him. He proclaimed Jesus as Christ, saying that he was “Not fit to untie the thong of His sandals” (Luke 3:16; Mark 1:7, and John 6:36).
St. John was killed because he reprimanded Herod and Herodias for their unlawful union, and because Herod was pleased at the dancing of Herodias’ daughter Salome. He was a fiery and blazing torch of faith and repentance, calling many in Israel to the baptism of repentance before Christ would give the baptism of spirit later. He is an icon of faith, of faithfulness, of repentance, and of love, and by Christ’s own words, “The greatest among those born of woman.” He stands now at Christ’s left hand in His Kingdom that can know no end. Holy St. John pray for us!