BIBLE READING; MATTHEW 11
11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Jesus certainly loved and thought highly of “John the Baptist”. John must have been a very interesting person. From all accounts, John was not your normal preacher, even during Jesus’ day. I have often wondered how you and I would feel about John the Baptist if we were to meet him today. I’ve often wondered if the average Bible believing church would even have John in to preach. He looked different, dressed different, ate different, and did not care what people thought. Preaching and projecting Christ was the sole focus of his life. Now some would take this too far and say, “if John did everything he wanted to do and it didn’t matter, then I’m going to dress and act the way I want to and I don’t care what people think.” Well, that would only make sense if Jesus Christ was the only focus of your life, and everything you did you did it to please Jesus Christ. I guess then that would be acceptable. But most people want to act or dress or do what they want because they want it. That is a totally different thing. Jesus is not the focus of any of that.
All I know is that Jesus knew John’s heart, and Jesus said, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist”. That is a wonderful complement. And yet in this verse, there is also an encouraging principle given. Jesus also said, “notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”. Did you hear that? Despite the spiritual and historical accomplishments of a man like John the Baptist, Jesus said that in Heaven, we will not be loved or esteemed according to what we did. We will be loved and accepted according to who we are. And who are we? We are sinners who have been redeemed through the blood of Jesus Christ, and now the children of God. You and I may not be a John the Baptist, but we are a child of God just like John is, and God loves us just the same. That was encouraging to me!