Jesus said to the crowds: “Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. 13All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. 14And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. 15Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
HE IS ELIJAH, THE ONE WHO IS TO COME. No one born in this world, Jesus says, can be greater than John the Baptist. John finds himself at the cusp of history, as he stands at that final point of a long succession of generations awaiting the advent of the Savior. John the Baptist’s greatness lies in the fact that he alone, of all the prophets, is able to personally point to Jesus as the Lamb of God, the long-awaited Messiah of Israel.
Yet, as Jesus says, the least born in God’s Kingdom is greater than John. Jesus is not putting John the Baptist down. Neither does Jesus disregard the value of John’s call to repentance and baptism at the Jordan. John himself says that he is not worthy to untie the thongs of the Messiah’s sandals.
Since the first week of Advent, John the Baptist has called us to repentance. He now invites us to return to the Lord in preparation for the coming of the Messiah.
John will be beheaded by the order of Herod, so John will not know anything about Jesus’ self-immolation on the cross at Calvary. Neither will John know about Jesus’ resurrection. For these reasons, Jesus says that we who live these truths are greater than John.
“Do not fear, I will help you. I will make of you
a threshing sledge, sharp, new, full of teeth” (Is 41:13, 15).
We are equipped to do the impossible.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.