If you follow Jesus you will soon find Him saying some unbelievable things. I am sure that those 12 men who followed Him around had to scratch their heads many a time. He said more remarkable things. He made statements that no one else could make. He spoke like no other man had ever spoken before. No on can speak like He spoke. He spoke with authority and continues to speak with authority. His words are spirit and life. His words are life changing. All of what He said is absolutely true. You and I can let His words live richly in us. We can open our hearts totally to Him knowing that He gives us life and it is an abundant life.
What Jesus would say got Him in trouble on many occasions. In fact the very first time He stood up and read from the scrolls, He was driven out of the temple and was near death. They wanted to kill Jesus because of what He had said. You can read about it in Luke 4:18-30. Fascinating story. Church folks were ready to kill the Son of God.
There were other times when what Jesus said went way over everyone’s head and no one really understood what He was talking about. There were times when those who followed Him began to rethink their commitment to Him and many turned and went away. Still there were other times when even those who were the closest to Jesus, His disciples or the twelve, as they were known, were slow in believing what He said. They often missed the point of it all.
Just for a few moments I wanted to call our attention to something He said that affects you and me right now. It’s powerful. Jesus was talking to a large number of people about John the Baptist and said that there was no one born of a woman who was greater than John the Baptist. Now we can handle that with little or no problem. He was a great man used mightily by God. That being true, we may want to suggest that Moses or Abraham, or Isaiah or Daniel or maybe David could be considered for the title of the greatest born of a woman. Do you have any suggestions? I think all of us might. However, since Jesus said John the Baptist was, we all surrender to His statement due to Jesus being THE truth.
Jesus goes on to say something else that is mind-blowing. After saying what He did about the John the Baptist, Jesus went on to say that the least one in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than him, John the Baptist. Can you believe that? Jesus said that whoever is the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist. WOW. That means that if you consider yourself as the least one in the Kingdom of Heaven than you are greater than John the Baptist. He goes on to say let him who have ears to hear let him hear. Are you hearing this?
Have you thought about the magnitude of what God has done for you as a result of Christ’s living in you? Without the faith of Christ working in us, this saying of Jesus would be unbelievable. It would go way over our heads. Some would simply walk away because it is a hard saying. However it is true. It has to be true. I must be true. It is true. Jesus started off by saying TRULY I SAY TO YOU. So Jesus knows how radical of a thing He was about to say, so He gives an intro to it by saying truly I say.
It is one thing to be born of a woman, in fact it is the only way we come into this world is through a woman. however, anyone and everyone born of the Spirit of God is greater than John the Baptist or anyone else born of a woman. Oh, this really elevates the status of all who are born of the Spirit of God. Have you given much thought to your status as a Child of God born of His Spirit? Have you considered and received this truth that you are greater than John the Baptist?
There is so much all around us that works against tnderstanding this kind of truth. The biggest hinderance is found in religion and religious systems. The separation of God’s children into classes of clergy and laity hinders the reality of what Jesus said about all of those in the Kingdom of Heaven. What would happen if all of us understood who we were and understood how God sees us? For one thing we would shake off all man-made religious systems and practices that treat us like we are less than John the Baptist. In fact many religious systems that I have had some contact with treat you like you are just a sinner saved by grace, who needs deliverance or something more. I thought Jesus took away the sin of the world. If He took them away then… Oh that’s another story.
This truth that Jesus spoke needs to be spoken over and over again. We need to hear what Jesus says about us. We need to hear how God feels about us in light of Christ living in us; in light of us being the very Body of Christ; in light of us sitting together in heavenly place with Him; and in light of us being sons and daughters of God. I earnestly believe that more understanding is needed about the magistry, glory and wonder of the new birth. More is needed about the richness of the life of Christ that is in us, and what His life in us makes us to be. Not something that we shall be, but what we are right now. I know that we shall be a lot more than what we are right now, but I believe that many are lacking a fuller understanding of what we are right now. As Paul stated there is a glory of what we are right now and there is a glory of what we shall become. But there is a present time, right now glory that Jesus has given to us. Every one of us born of His Spirit has it. Paul’s prayer for the church was that they would have wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the hope of God’s calling, of the richness of their inheritance, and of the exceedingly greatness power of God’s towards them. I thank God and I am excited that many are coming once again into a fuller understanding of Christ in them the hope of glory.
We could pray that we might know that we are greater than John the Baptist and how we might live with that understanding as the greater one Christ Himself is in us right now. Please pray that for me and for those who we gather with us here at Christ’s Church in Maryland as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.