“Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” // Matthew 11:11
I love the relationship between Jesus and His cousin, John. It amuses me how in one breath, Jesus calls John the G.O.A.T. prophet, in the same sentence, refers to him as less than the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
It sounds like a typical family rivalry to me, and as family Christmas gatherings approach, I’m sure some of us are dreading a few we will attend. I’m not looking forward to the razzing my family will give me during our annual cornhole tournament which I won fair and square last year. It was a legit win regardless of the fact the entire family was not present.
Rest assured, what sounds like a massive insult to John, being told that “the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he,” is actually affirming John’s message and call to “Prepare a way for the Lord” (Mark 1:3). John, the last prophet of the Old Covenant between God and Israel, prepared people to encounter Christ, Who was bringing a New Covenant in which all peoples can become holy.
Jesus is reminding us that we are called to live in the Kingdom of Heaven even during this earthly life. Hard to comprehend when the Christmas present list gets longer, and we put so much energy into building up the kingdom of Amazon versus the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus wants all men and women to fix their eyes on Heaven now. John the Baptist and Jesus are preaching a new message: one of hope, healing, reconciliation, and forgiveness of sins.
Both Jesus and John point our gaze to Heaven. John prepared us to encounter Christ, and Christ makes us able to enter Heaven. In this season of Advent, the more we relinquish what binds us to the earth and weighs us down in sin, the more we will become the least in the Kingdom of Heaven like John.This earthly life is nothing compared to the Kingdom of Heaven. // @socaltriciat Click To Tweet