“I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.”
John the Baptist is in prison and he sends his disciples to Jesus to ask Him, “Are you the Messiah?” Jesus’ response is to point out the miracles and the healings and the preaching of the gospel.
Jesus then tells the crowd about John. He asks them “What did you expect him to be?” He tells them that John is more than a prophet- he is the messenger preparing the way of the Lord.
Jesus concludes that there was no one greater than John until the present day. But even the least important person in God’s Kingdom is greater than John.
What does It mean to be great? Why is John the greatest of all men until the Kingdom?
John was great because he saw and recognised Jesus the Messiah. He was uniquely called to proclaim “The King is coming!” His greatness was in his calling.
All the prophets in the Old Testament saw a partial picture. Looking back we can see that they saw the coming of the Messiah and how it would happen.
Nobody, until John, saw the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Even John had his doubts.
John was greater than Moses, Abraham, David, Isaiah and Elijah.
But the least in the Kingdom is greater than John.
Me in my ordinary humdrum existence, far from perfect, not always hearing God’s voice– I am greater than John the Baptist, greater than Moses, David, Abraham and all the “heroes” of the Old Testament.
Goodness in God’s Kingdom is not about heroic deeds and famous sermons. It’s about walking with God and listening to the Holy Spirit, determined to live the best life I can for Jesus.
Lord it is too marvellous for words to think that you consider me to be greater than John the Baptist. Show me how to be even greater as I walk in surrender to you. Amen.