HOST: Michael Whitworth
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written, “ ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
What a statement of praise and commendation given here to John by Jesus! John was not “a reed shaken by the wind”—he was not one to be blown about by every changing current of social or religious ideology. He was not “a man dressed in soft clothing”—one who was self-indulgent and worldly. John was a man of conviction and courage, one who was sacrificially committed to His God-given purpose. He was a prophet—more than a prophet, he was the forerunner of the Messiah. “Among those born of women,” Jesus says, “there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist.” But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say that “the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” As great as John and his work was, he did not get to see the Lord’s kingdom come. He was never a citizen of that kingdom, the church. We, who have the privilege of being washed in the blood of Christ and thereby added to His body, are far more blessed and privileged than even John. What a wonderful blessing it is to be citizens of the kingdom of heaven.
Why is it such a blessing to be part of the Lord’s kingdom?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!