After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: “’I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” Luke 7:24-28 NIV

Jesus’ comment here appears to be contradictory. He first says there is no one born of woman greater than John, yet, the least in the kingdom of God is greater than John. What is Christ comparing herein? Is He comparing the character of the Baptist to the least in the kingdom? I don’t believe so. Is He saying the standing in the kingdom of heaven is greater for the least, than the standing in heaven for the Baptist? Again I don’t believe that to be the case.

What I believe Christ to be comparing here is the acceptance into heaven of a believer in Christ to the work done by John. The acceptance of any into heaven is a glorious matter. Remember there is more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety nine people who do not need to repent. Just as John the Baptist had work to do for our Lord, we as today’s followers of Christ also have work we are called to do for the advancement of the kingdom. Doing the will of God is tremendously pleasing to Him, but it does not compare to the acceptance of a believer into the kingdom of God.

We cannot do any works that would warrant our being accepted into heaven. It is from God’s mercy, love, and compassion that we receive this gift. We must realize that there is no comparison between God’s gift to us and our works done for Him. Our works pale in comparison to what He freely offers to us. Let us be humble and truly realize the grace, love, mercy and compassion our God has for each of us! AMEN!!


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