Why Will The Least In The Reign Of The Heavens Be Greater Than John The Baptist?

Greetings! Matthew 11:11 reads this way (Modern Young’s Literal Translation):

“there has not risen, among those born of women, a greater than John the Baptist, but he who is the least in the reign of the heavens is greater than he.”

That’s quite an endorsement for John by the very Creator of all humans, Himself! Remember, John “shall be full of the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb: (Luke 1:15….Young’s Literal Translation).

However, even though John had no one live a more superior  life as a human being as he had done, he was still HUMAN! And, being human, he was not yet PERFECT.  No matter how small they may have been, John was still capable of making human errors, which is the committing of sins….ONLY Jesus, as a human, was not capable of this.

Please reference the Post on “Our Glorious New Bodies” for a full explanation with the specific Scriptures confirming the following but, basically, it comes down to ONE (which is actually a combination of a number of  factors) reason why Matthew 11:11 is true:

Whereas NOW we (like John) have dying, decaying, fleshly bodies composed of elements of the soil that are DOMINATED by selfish, ‘soulish’ desires, ALL believers will THEN, in our resurrected and/or transfigured state of being, have new, immortal and incorruptible ‘celestial’ bodies filled and DOMINATED by the Holy Spirit ….THAT WILL BE JUST LIKE CHRIST JESUS, HIMSELF! (Philippians 3:21)

Galatians 5:17 (NAS) sums up the present condition of all humans in our present mortal bodies: “17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh ; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” After the resurrection, as indicated in the previous paragraph, there will be NO HUMAN FLESHLY desires to war against our Holy Spirit filled celestial bodies.

All believers have at the present received the “firstfruits of the Spirit”, or a down payment, so to speak (Romans 8:23); whereas, only Jesus received the Holy Spirit ‘without measure’ as a human (John 3:32-34). At the resurrection, all believers will receive the FULL MEASURE of the Holy Spirit as we take on the very GLORY of Christ Jesus, Himself (2 Thessalonians 2:14)….thus, rendering us incapable of sinning. This is the “crown of righteousness” referred to by Paul in 2 Timothy 4:8. (Please reference the Post “Crown Of Righteousness”)

The Scriptures clearly teach there will be different levels of authority or position granted to each believer based on “rewards” (1 Corinthians 3:8) after the resurrections (please reference the Post “Judgement Seat Of Christ vs Great White Throne Judgment”); HOWEVER, the believer with the “least” position or authority in the Kingdom will still be “greater” than John (was in his human, fleshly body) because of her or his glorified existence as set forth in the Post ” Our Glorious New Bodies” and what is in the above paragraph.

I am quite sure that not many will be above John in his glorious, resurrected existence!

Later, in Christ,

Fred

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Mark 6

This morning I enjoyed reading Mark 6 again.  It reminded me of how many signs and miracles the Lord performed, especially the healings.  And yet, where were these ‘grateful’ recipients when Jesus was crucified!

Sadly, the influence of signs and miracles, even if administered to us personally, have a way of  fleeing from us when difficult times arrive. I recall reading where Teresa of Avila…..a well-known mystic who experienced numerous visions and such….said when the torrents of suffering overwhelm us the recollection of the ecstasy and wonderment of the visions and heavenly revelations seem like far away  dreams (paraphrasing here), and offer little or no strength.

The remaining 11 apostles are another example. After witnessing the most amazing miracles and wonders for about  3 years or so, and even themselves empowered to perform the same, at the end, when human confusion set in at Jesus’  arrest, they all fled…..all the past signs and miracles offering them no strength in the time of adversity.

Our strength lies in developing our spiritual life. Yet, how many came to Jesus and asked that He ‘heal’ them spiritually…..giving them the ability to love more, exercise more patience, pursue the things of God more, empower them with spiritual fortitude, etc?  You guessed   it…..zilch, none! Their focus was on the physical.

And, the chapter reminded me  of what a  difficult  time John the Baptist had during his last days. He was accustomed to roaming freely in the unspoiled beauty of the wilderness, enjoying his delicious wild honey as well as (however he fixed those) locusts!  Wholesome fresh air, the appealing sounds of nature.  Now, here he was in what had to probably be a disgustingly foul cell of some sort and having to eat what probably had to be one of the worst of menus…..just the opposite of what was customary for him.  Greater still, he was confused about what was going on and even wondered  if  Jesus was really the Messiah. My guess is that he came out just fine, and may very well have been magnificently closer to God at the time of his murder than ever before.

I have read of saints who gloried in heavy trials and were brought closer to God and Christ in an unexplainable, spiritual way during these times…..surely a testament of  the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul and Silas are a wonderful example.  In Acts 16:25, they are found singing hymns and praying to God  at  midnight….AFTER having received ‘many blows’ with rods, open wounds still probably stinging quite painfully  with every movement, thrown into the  farthest interior of the jail (i.e., the nastiest) and having their feet in stocks. Now, either they were on some heavy drugs or strange mushrooms…. or, the Holy Spirit empowered them to have this disposition.  It can for us as well.

At times, God brings our greatest trial to us at the end.  We need to be striving to develop the spiritual strength (faith) needed for whenever it may appear …..so that our victory in Christ will be pleasing to the Father, and give Him glory.

Take care.

Fred

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