Jesus says: “I say to you, among those born of women, there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” This seems a conundrum. What does it mean?
Hi, @plantaseed great question. John the Baptist was great in the sense that he broke the 400-year silence that went on between the Old Testament and the new testament. This silence was God not sending any messages through prophets. He also was the one to come right before Jesus to prepare people to accept Jesus’s ministry. The least in the Kingdom was greater than him because John would not get to see and experience all the miracles and know of all Jesus did before dying. There was even a point John sent a message to Jesus asking if he really was the messiah to come. Jesus responded by telling of all the miracles that were happening to assure him he was the true messiah.
What Jesus said also went against the culture of that day. John was a Levite and considered a prophet. People like him were of high regard. Not even the religious leaders went against John the Baptist because even they believed he was a prophet sent by God. So to say the least is greater than John was to turn things upside down. This was something the religious leaders did not like at all because they cherished their status. Here’s a link if you want to dig a bit deeper into who John the Baptist was. I hope I answered your question.
Hey @plantaseed. Yes that one is a bit hard to understand. Commentaries help. What I got is the disciples of John came and asked if Christ was the Messiah and he shows them that he healed the sick, the blind etc and tells them to go and tell him that only the Messiah can do all these things. Then as they leave he is talking about how finding Jesus is the best of all things. He is showing them that even though John the baptist who never cared about his own life, followed God by the book and was so righteous, those that follow the Messiah will be above John when Christ dies for them and saves them to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Even the least that enters the kingdom of God by grace will be greater than he, the one that is bound by the Law.
I hope this helps.
@Danageze Kind of like Thomas needing to feel Jesus’s wounds and the following comment that blessed are those who have not seen and believe? I get the difference between the law and grace- thank you!
Wow, 400 yr silence. I didn’t realize that. Thank you for shedding light on my confusion.
Well it is slightly different. Because for Thomas, he clearly didnt believe without seeing and so he is stating that. But here, he is telling them a new information that they did not think of before.