8th July 2017

John the Baptist

“I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Luke 7:28 (ESV)

When we consider the great men and women in history, our minds are conditioned to think about individuals like Alexander the Great, Herod the Great, Alfred the Great, Catherine the Great, and many others. Also in our own time, Mohammad Ali, the heavyweight boxer who claimed that he was the greatest. Now, how many people think about John the Baptist? Jesus said that John was the greatest human being who ever lived. That means that he was greater than all of the above individuals. Even greater than Abraham, Moses and Elijah! What was so special about John?

He did not live in a palace, the wilderness was his home. He did not eat in fine restaurants, his food was locusts and wild honey. He did not wear fine clothes, he wore a garment of camel’s hair. He did not conquer nations in warfare, he baptised people in the Jordan River. He ended up in prison and was eventually beheaded by Herod, the final fate of the greatest human being who ever lived, apart from Jesus, of course, who was both man and God. John’s head was brought on a platter by a floozy who gave it to her mother, Herodias.

John exemplified true greatness. “…for he will be great before the Lord.” (Luke 1:15). He was filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he was born! His role was to prepare the way for the first coming of Jesus Christ. But he did not consider himself to be great. “John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16). John humbled himself under the mighty hand of Jesus Christ. “And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:34).

If we aspire to greatness, we, too, must fix our eyes and thoughts on Jesus, setting our affections on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2). And like John, be clothed with humility. Not necessarily with camel’s hair! Jesus also said that the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than John.

Prayer
Thank you, Father, that you have not called us to be great in this fallen and corrupt world. But to prepare for the world to come, the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen
 

Study by Sherwin Scott

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About the Author:
Sherwin Scott is a Deacon in the congregation of Grace Communion Church in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
Mountfield Road
LEWES BN7 2XN

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11:00am

Local Congregational Contact:
Hilary Buck
Email: hilaryjbuck@gmail.com

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