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Lesson # Matt. 11:9-11
Study Material - Matt. 11:9-11
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
9 But [alla] what [tis] went ye out [exerchomai] for to see [eido] ? A prophet [prophetes] ? yea [nai] , I say [lego] unto you [humin] , and [kai] more [perissoteros] than a prophet [prophetes] .
10 For [gar] this [houtos] is [esti] he, of [peri] whom [hos] it is written [grapho] , Behold [idou] , I [ego] send [apostello] my [mou] messenger [aggelos] before [pro] thy [sou] face [prosopon] , which [hos] shall prepare [kataskeuazo] thy [sou] way [hodos] before [emprosthen] thee [sou] .
11 Verily [amen] I say [lego] unto you [humin] , Among [en] them that are born [gennetos] of women [gune] there hath [egeiro] not [ou] risen [egeiro] a greater than [meizon] John [Ioannes] the Baptist [Baptistes] : notwithstanding [de] he that is least [mikros] in [en] the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] is [esti] greater than [meizon] he [autos] . KJV-Interlinear
9 'But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I say to you, and one who is more than a prophet. 10 'This is the one about whom it is written, 'Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.' 11 'Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. NAS
John is given the highest compliment that any person could ever receive from God, ', among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist.' This compliment even overshadows Mary who was given the privilege of giving birth to the humanity of Jesus. This is a greater compliment than Paul, than Moses, than even Elijah. John the Baptist had a very short career. He prepared himself in the scriptures from his very young youth, and he knew his calling because that calling (prophecy), if you will remember, was given to his dad even before John was born, Luke 1. Now the real question of the day is, 'How come we don't see more statues of John?' We see Mary everywhere, but John??? Ou can ponder that one for a little while, for what it is worth.... Ok, enough pondering.
But, and there is always a 'but.' But, even as far as John's greatness, that greatness is confined to his role in human history, not from the perspective of the spiritual realm. Verse 11 clarifies the difference.
No prophet has been along for over 400 years. John was a novelty for those in his generation. They knew some of the prophecies, and even knew of the prophecy presented in Mal. 3:1. John was introduced to history for the sole purpose of preparing the way for Christ. John had become the fulfillment of prophecy as well as being the first prophet in a long time. Yet the people of that day were fascinated in John more so than they should have been some 30 years earlier when Jesus was born. The birth of Christ is the second greatest event in history, second only to the Cross.
Again, John is said to have been the greatest person ever to live in history, and that list certainly has many significant people on it. We do not know much about John's life except for the circumstances of his birth and some little portions of his ministry - which lasted only about a year or so. So when we compare the great ones of history, we as human beings have very little to go on when it comes to John's life. God knows of course, and Jesus Christ herein tells us that John is the greatest human to live.
Again, this is in the human realm. In the spiritual realm, the least of believers is far greater than the greatest of humans - John. Whomever you might want to place on that list of great people with John, they too are less than the least of believers. So we have a category classification distinction between humans in this temporal life, and anyone who attains a spiritual life.
The lowest rung of the ladder is humans, anyone, functioning in human history. The next rung of the ladder is the believers who are least in the spiritual realm. The least of believers is greater than the greatest of humans. The next level would be those who advance in their spiritual life toward maturity. The next level would be believers who attain spiritual maturity. God is of course on the highest rung. No one an ever attain nor be higher than God.
So when it comes to ranking people in history, any of those who think they are great, they really are nothing. Only God can rank us. Mans criteria for ranking is false at best. Human accomplishments, human ability, human status, etc. are all meaningless because human history is temporary at best. Our history will cease and then there will be no recollection of human history in eternity. It will fade like the morning mist and then it will be gone and forgotten.
John was given a task for his life. Every person in history is given a task or purpose for which they were born into this world. Those who reject Christ, those who reject Bible doctrine, those who reject their spiritual life, become nothing more than history filler. Being considered nothing more then filler would be a blow to most folks ego's, but if you pursue your spiritual life, then you will accomplish whatever it is that God has designed for you in history. Better to be a believer and therefore greater than any unbeliever in history, but better still to be a mature believer and become even more better off in the rankings of the spiritual realm.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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