Why is John the Baptist the last prophet in the Bible? (Luke 16:16)
"The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it" (Luke 16:16).
"From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John" (Matthew 11:12-13).
The phrase "the law and the prophets" is one of several descriptive terms for the Old Testament. It refers to the two main division of the Old Testament. The law is the first five books of the Old Testament, written by Moses. The prophets are the remaining books written by other prophets. ""Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets"" (Matthew 22:36-40).
What Jesus is saying is that up until John the Baptist, the Old Testament has been taught. Starting with John, a new Law, the Gospel of the kingdom of God, has been preached (Mark 1:1; Matthew 4:17).
While the Pharisees scoffed at the teachings, others have been eager to enter the kingdom. Jesus uses the imagery of a mob violently pushing its way through a door. People are pushing for the kingdom to be established, but they are wanting it to happen immediately. But it won't come until everything the Law stated was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). There would be changes, but they would not come by the will of man (Psalm 102:26-27).
Therefore, John was not the last prophet in the Bible. He was the prophet at the pivot point when the Old Law was being replaced by the New Law as prophesied. ""Behold, days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the LORD. "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the LORD, "I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the LORD, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more"" (Jeremiah 31:31-34).