This is he of whom it is written, “‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’

I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

(When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.) ’

Luke 7:27–30 ESV Read More

When the people heard Jesus, who they were convinced was more than just a prophet, say how great John the Baptist was, they “declared God just.”

According to my Greek dictionary, it says that it could also be said that “they justified God.” That means that when Jesus said this, they agreed with Jesus. They nodded as if to say, “God’s doing it right.”

The people, even the tax collectors (these were the worst of vermin: traitor dirtbag jerk-faced *&^%$@#% scum!) knew deep down, somehow, that this was just the perfect way for God to bring on the Messiah.

But the Pharisees and the experts in the law didn’t reject this teaching. They rejected God’s purpose for their lives! Their purpose was to see and know God in the scriptures. Their purpose was to help the people grow in their faith and awareness of the God of Israel, who when He spoke His name to Moses said “The Lord, compassionate and merciful…”

They didn’t get baptized by John to admit their sin and they wouldn’t give Jesus enough of consideration to learn from a miracle-working Rabbi.

This all plays together, of course, because by denying God’s grace, they were putting themselves into the kingdom of John. It was a kingdom of Law calling for repentance and and turning away from their sins. As they were sitting in judgment and self-righteousness, they thought they were top notch. They didn’t think they had enough sins to turn away from.

But Jesus just said that John the Baptist was better than any of them. Better than the Pharisees!? Outrageous! How much more righteous they were than this man out in the wilderness shouting and eating strange food.

But Jesus was right.

If you don’t want to try to measure up to John the Baptist, follow the One he was busy announcing. The least in that kingdom is better than John the Baptist. And who is the least? The “people and the tax collectors.” In the kingdom of Jesus, there is no room for self-righteous rulers or dictators of what is right and wrong. The ones that rule are the humble that point to Jesus as the King.

They never had self-righteousness because they knew their cases were hopeless. Only a graceful, saving, rescuing god could save them. And that’s the One that saves us too.

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