How is it that Jesus told his disciples that no one born so far was greater than John the Baptist and “yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he”? (Matthew 11:11) Is that some mysterious kind of double-speak?
Jesus paid tribute to John by saying he was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy: “Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.” (Malachi 3:1) What a fabulous ministry: to announce the Messiah and prepare a straight path so people could receive him! Can it get better than that?
Well, yes it can. Think of this: John came before redemption was fully accomplished. He died under the Old Covenant. He died before the Holy Spirit fell on the church at Pentecost. John had the Holy Spirit on him but “we are the temple of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)
We are living in greater revelation than any people in history. We have the entire Word of God. We have the operation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We have the full authority of Christ. We can plead the blood of Jesus because it has already been shed.
Sometimes we look back and envy the great heroes of old such as John the Baptist but I think they look down from heaven and envy us. Their time is over and we are still in the action during the greatest time in history.
I can’t help but feel what a great privilege it is to be numbered among the “leasts.”