Among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!
In Matthew 11:11 Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist!” What made John such an outstanding figure? None of us today has been called to the same ministry that John the Baptist was. We haven’t been called to live in the desert and exist on a diet of insects and do the strange things John did. Nevertheless, we have been called to preach the message that John preached. I think it is very important as we look at John the Baptist to understand why Jesus said John was great. You and I desire to be great in God’s kingdom. There is nothing wrong with that. There is everything right with wanting to be great in God’s kingdom. We all want God’s stamp of approval on our lives. What can we learn from John the Baptist’s life and ministry?
There are two principles in the life and ministry of John the Baptist that tell us something about the kind of person that God uses and blesses.
First, God uses those who are willing to share the truth regardless of the consequences. No matter how much you smile when you say it, there is still something offensive about the Christian message. By telling people how to be saved you are implying that they are lost. By telling people how to be forgiven you are implying that they are guilty, and some people don’t want to hear that. That is why some people will be offended by your message. But a true servant of God doesn’t tell people what they want to hear. He tells them what they need to hear. God has always blessed those who are willing to share the truth regardless of the consequences. John’s boldness eventually cost him his life, but it also earned him a place in God’s eternal hall of honor. Are you willing to tell people the truth? Are you willing to tell people what they need to hear, not just what they want to hear?
Second, John’s life and ministry reminds us that God uses people who will point other people to His Son. John understood that his one reason for living was to point people to Jesus Christ. “He must increase, but I must decrease” was the credo by which he lived (John 3:30). John was like the moon. The moon has no light of its own; it only reflects the light of the sun.
It is the same way for us. You and I have been called for a purpose that is much greater than our own peace, prosperity, achievement, or any other self-centered purpose. We have the same purpose that John had: to point people to the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. That is why God has left us here on earth after we have been saved. You see, in the end, it really isn’t about us. It’s about Him.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Prophet Who Lost His Head over Jesus” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.