In each society, there is a class or race of people that everyone looks down on. It’s not right but, sadly, its human nature. Those of a higher class will always look down on those in the lowest one. They will be mistreated, and people will doing everything in their power to keep them down. That is what makes Christianity so different. Everyone is equal, and even those who would be considered “the least of these” are still assured salvation from sins and eternity in heaven.
“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.”
A Legend in His Own Right
Jesus declared that John the Baptist was the greatest amongst all of the prophets. These are high words of praise for a very simple man and puts him in the company of some of the Old Testament legends. If you look at his ministry, it is easy to agree. He was the one the prophets spoke about as the “Voice calling out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord.” John had a special mission to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus.
Before the Cross
At the same time, Jesus says that the least of these in the Kingdom of God is greater than him. What exactly does Jesus mean by this? John’s ministry was before Jesus’ completed work of the cross and thus wasn’t under the covenant of grace it brought. Those who have followed Jesus and walk in His grace and righteousness aren’t bound by the Old Testament law like John was.
The Least of These
We can’t take pride in being better than John the Baptist because none of us have lived our lives better than he did. What we can do is be humbled that we are considered worthy of being rescued by Jesus’s atoning work on the cross. It is by no work of our hands, lest we boast (Eph 2:8). Instead, we should rejoice for all that we have been blessed with. We may be one of the “least of these,” but our eternity in heaven is secure.