“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
John was a great prophet. But what made him great in Jesus’ eyes? Was it that he was chosen by God before his birth? Was it that he lived a life a self-denial and simplicity? Was it that he proclaimed the coming Messiah? Was it that he had faith that could endure hard trials that he faced? All of these, and more, I say. Although, even after all of that, the greatest of humanity still can’t compare with the unfallen beings of heaven! How amazing that will be to meet them!
He didn’t have an easy road, though. The heaven-sent prophet had to deal with same group that vexed Jesus during His mission as well. These hypocrites were undaunted and unashamed in their violence towards both Jesus and John. Even though the writings of Moses and all of the other prophets spoke of the Messiah that was to come, they missed Him. Had they accepted John as the forerunner of Christ, as he truly was, there would have most likely been a wonderful revival and return to godliness. But, alas, their hearts were too selfish to give up their vain worldly desires for power and honor.
May we pray that we have ears to hear, eye salve to anoint our spiritual vision, and that God would put a heart of flesh in us that we may renew our love. Would God that we all return to the basics of the Bible, His 10 commandments, and true love for God and our neighbors. That would be a truly great time indeed!