In Praise of the Least
Scripture Reading — Luke 7:24-35
I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. — Luke 7:28
John’s disciples had come to ask about Jesus. After they left, Jesus told John’s story. John was a man who was fully alive to God, had great zeal for God’s calling on his life, and yet was misunderstood by many people. Jesus set the record straight that John was a prophet, and more—not a person possessed by a demon and doing crazy things in the desert. Jesus made clear that John’s mission from God was to prepare the way for Jesus’ own work as the Messiah.
John baptized many people into new lives of repentance and forgiveness. More important, his ministry prepared people’s hearts and minds for the coming of God’s kingdom through Jesus, planned from the beginning of time. And Jesus gave John the best compliment a Savior could bestow, saying that “the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” What does this mean?
Jesus’ words showed that John was a humble, true servant of God and that they also could serve humbly and faithfully, bringing honor to God’s kingdom as believers in him, no matter what background they came from.
Jesus lifts up people whom society calls untouchable, unworthy, or unredeemable. If you and I believe this, we are set to serve, for he exalts us too.
Dear Jesus, I admit that I need to repent and be forgiven. Show me the way to kingdom living in your strength, not mine, spreading your love and good news to all. Amen.