“What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? But what did you go out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Indeed those who are gorgeously appareled and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I say to 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.’ For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” NKJV
Most certainly, Jesus eulogizes John the Baptist in a most loving and wonderful way. “John,” He says, “is more than a prophet!” The honor, specialness, uniqueness, importance, of the messenger of God, the Way preparer, is beyond question. Yet, he who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he! What does that mean?
Note first that there are gradations in the Kingdom of god. There is the least and there is the greatest. At the top we know there shall be near co-regents who shall sit at the left and right of Christ and we also know of the 24 elders around the throne, and as the angels differ in rank and category and substance, I have no doubt that the elect shall do the same. I believe the bride of Christ shall have its least and its greatest, shall have its members acknowledged in substance rank and category. The apportioning of reward, and the dominion of crowning at the judgement seat of Christ shall no doubt reflect this. Suffice to say, there shall be greatest and there shall be least in the Kingdom of God.
It has been said that the answer to the world’s problems in the past has always come from the womb of a woman. The abattoirs of murderous abortion, destroy many of God’s answers to the worlds prayers. John was the greatest prophet of anyone born of women. He is the tops!
Look now, those members of the church, the body of Christ, and this the great Kingdom of God, are born not from below but from above. They are born again by the Holy Spirit of God. These people are the Bride of Christ and they are a new breed, a new class, a new race, a new genre, a new spiritually bio-divers group of the most excellent of God’s creation! The ‘least of these’ born from above, are greater than the greatest of those born of women, even John the Baptist. The question is, both how and in what way are they greater?Now then, you could say that Jesus, the begotten of the father, the great servant King of all the redeemed, is least and therefore greatest in the Kingdom of God. As the least, Jesus then is greater than the greatest human prophet, John the Baptist. Well, I can war that, but Oh my goodness, it took some hermeneutical gymnastics to get there! However, I think that there is a clearer and a better understanding though.
Someone has said that those born of the Holy Spirit of God become ‘Divinely human.’ Only our physical death can separate, we, the Divinely human people from the presence of our remaining sin nature, and once this is done, in the resurrection, in the adoption, we receive a resurrected, reformed, renewed, remade, and all ‘revved’ up body to better accommodate the Divine humanity which God has made us to be, and these resurrected bodies are shaped to fit the positions of power won by our present faith and fidelity, and those future ruling authorities accorded to us by the Sovereign grace of God. Even so, here below, we who are now made victorious over our sin nature by the blood of Christ, still fight against it whilst in this ‘unadopted’ body of ours. Never the less, by God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, we are still made to be Divinely human, even the sons of God, and being sons, we are part of the Kingdom of God which is within us. In this, we are much greater than John the Baptist.
Surely you would agree then, that such people born from above and greater than John the Baptizer, should have a profound impact on the world? I ask myself this question tonight then, “As someone made Divinely human by the Holy Spirit of God, as someone who is least in the Kingdom of God, in what way am I impacting and changing the world?” As for me, currently, the honest answer seems to be, “very little.”
Let us not forget who we are and what we are, for this ‘forgetting’ is part of the problem. John had a solitary dessert and little distraction to remember who he was. Look now, we have an abundance of distraction and noise to help us forget who we are.
Let us therefore find some desert places in our lives. Let us find some high mountains, let us find some solitary place, let us fond some quiet times out of each 24 hour day to go and pray and in praying to begin to remember who and what we are. I tell you tonight, some of you have forgotten yourself and need a desert to help you remember.
Listen: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:6-13 NKJV)
Pray: Father, most days I feel barely human rather than Divinely human. The Cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches have sucked my spiritual marrow dry. I am a dry bones. Lord, only dry bones can live when Your Holy Spirit rattles me back together. Lord, rattle me back together. Help me find a mountain in a desert, a place by the sea, a vale in the wilderness, that Your breath would re-assemble me and that being so reformed by You, I would remember myself in You. In Jesus name I ask it, amen and let it be so.