Bible Truth FAQs
THE GREATNESS OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
John the Baptist was the son of Zachariah and Elisabeth of the tribe of Levi. He was about six months older than Jesus and was related to Jesus in that Mary was cousin to Elisabeth (Luke 1:36). Even before birth, John was chosen of the Lord to preach the message of a coming kingdom, to prepare the way of the Lord (Luke 1:15-17, Matt. 3:1-3). Because John dared to speak against the adulterous union of Herod and his brother Philip's wife, he was imprisoned and subsequently beheaded (Matt. 14:3-10).
John did not build any religious institution. He did not live long enough to see the fulfillment of his preaching that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In Luke 7:27-28 Jesus spoke unto the people concerning John, "This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist. But he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."
John's greatness was tremendous yet limited because he did not have the opportunity of membership in the Lord's church (Matt. 16:18), nor could he preach the gospel of Christ. We today have these opportunities, and all who will enter the kingdom through obedience to the gospel of Christ shall be even greater than John the Baptist. Jesus said it!
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