Skip to content

Great, Greater, Greatest

July 12, 2017


Great, Greater, Greatest

As John the Baptist sat  in jail,  awaiting his beheading,  Jesus had something special  to say  about him.     Jesus said people went to see  and hear  John the Baptist  because it was obvious  —  from his preaching  and life style  —  that he was a prophet.

Then,  Jesus told the people something  we should all think about  —  2000 years later.     In Luke 7:28-30,  Jesus said,

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.”

And when all the people  and the tax-gatherers  heard this,  they acknowledged God’s justice,  having been baptized  with the baptism  of John.

But the Pharisees  and the lawyers  rejected God’s purpose  for themselves,  not having been baptized  by John.

How can John be considered  the greatest ever born,  and yet,  whoever is “least” in the kingdom  of God  is actually greater  than John the Baptist?

John the Baptist  was considered the greatest  because he was filled  with the Holy Spirit,  even before  he was born.     In Luke 1:15-17,  before John’s mother  became pregnant  with him,  an angel explains  to Zacharias (John’s father)  what John would be like.     The angel says,

“For he will be great  in the sight  of the Lord,  and he will drink  no wine  or liquor;  and he will be filled  with the Holy Spirit,  while yet  in his mother’s womb.

“And he will turn back many  of the sons  of Israel  to the Lord their God.

“And it is he  who will go  as a forerunner  before Him  in the spirit  and power  of Elijah,  to turn the hearts  of the fathers  back to the children,  and the disobedient  to the attitude  of the righteous;  so as to make ready  a people prepared  for the Lord.”

No wonder John is considered the greatest.     God filled him with the Holy Spirit before he was born.     God made him into a great preacher.     When John preached repentance,  the disobedient people  were convicted  of their sins.     They knew  for sure  they had better change their ways  before their judgment day  would come.

Many went out  into the desert  to hear John preach  about the coming Savior,  their need to straighten out  their lives,  and their need  to get ready  to meet the promised Savior .

As many repented,  they had John baptize them  as a sign  that they would change  their lives around.

But,  how is it  that the “least” in the kingdom of God  ends up  being “greater” than John?     The “least” are the gross sinners.     They were “least”  because they had been prostitutes,  cheaters,  liars,  greedy,  selfish,  adulterers,  etc.

They became the “greatest”  because they literally changed  their whole lives around.     In repentance  and reverence  for the love of God  extended to them,  they stopped living  in their sins.

These people  had been like the scum  of the earth  and they made this huge leap  of faith.     They realized  the condemnation  of their sins.     They believed  God would,  indeed,  forgive all their sins  when they repented.     They went  from not trusting God  —  to deeply trusting  and loving God.

Because John the Baptist  was filled  with the Holy Spirit  all his life,  he never had to make  that sort  of huge leap  of faith.     John totally dedicated his life  to God,  but faith  came more naturally  to him.

The religious leaders refused  to admit  that they were sinners.     They didn’t want  to lower themselves  in anyone’s eyes.     So,  they refused  to repent,  although they,  too,  were adulterers,  cheaters,  etc.

In other words,  their pride  kept them from becoming great  in God’s eyes.     They chose  to not be a part  of God’s kingdom  by their refusal  to repent  and change their lifestyle.

So,  what’s our standing  in God’s kingdom?     Will God call us  “greater than John”  because of our repentance.     Or,  will our pride  keep us  from ever becoming  a part  of God’s kingdom?     God’s purpose  for us all  is that we turn  to Him  in repentance.

When we humbly  ditch our pride,  repent before our Lord,  and change our way  of living,  we will be free  from the chains  of pride  and gladly sing,  “Hallelujah!     God’s love  has set me free.”




A Christian devotional  to glorify  the LORD of lords  and GOD of gods.

Pray for our country.



The LORD  made this day, let us rejoice  and be glad  in Him.

Psalm 118:24


The word of the LORD is tried;

He is a shield  to all  who take refuge  in Him.

Psalm 18:30


Sing for joy  in the LORD,  O you righteous ones;

Praise is becoming  to the upright.

Psalm 33:1


How blessed are those  who dwell  in Thy house!

They are ever praising Thee.

Psalm 84:4


Just as a father  has compassion  on his children,

So the LORD  has compassion  on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13


O give thanks  to the LORD,  for He is good;

For His lovingkindness  is everlasting.

Psalm 107:1


Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart  of those who seek the LORD  be glad.

Psalm 105:3




Not that I have already obtained it,  or have already  become perfect,   but I press on  in order that  I may  lay hold  of that  for which also  I was laid hold of  by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12








Comments are closed.