Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Luke 7:28 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.
I'm glad to be part of a group of people who have much better things to talk about than the weather, politics, sports, the latest fashion, etc. Oftentimes, when we minister together and fellowship together here at Bible Baptist, the topic of conversation drifts towards something that somebody read in the Bible.
Recently, the above 2 passages came up. At first glance, you'll notice that the Matthew passage makes mention of the kingdom of heaven (the visible, physical kingdom Christ will establish when He returns to this earth) whereas the Luke passage makes mention of the kingdom of God (the invisible, spiritual kingdom that is at work within the believer) and that both make the same statement – that one who is a participant in either of those kingdoms is greater than John the Baptist.
How can that be? And how can it be true of both the physical and the spiritual kingdom? I admit, I didn't have all that great of an answer. Thankfully, Bro. James was nearby.
The point of both passages is this. John the Baptist was the best man there ever was. What an amazing statement for the Lord to make! Think of some others that could take that title. What about Moses? Samuel? Daniel? Job? Noah? Ezra? Good men. Great men! But not the best. That was John.
Now, the statement that Jesus makes does not exclude John from either of those kingdoms but points out this fact – that it'd better to be the least in God's kingdom than to be the best man on the face of the earth.
When I lived at home, I was blessed to enjoy quite a few rounds of golf with my dad. We played enough to have some good rounds every now and then, but we also had our fair share of days that were well-nigh embarrassing. At the end of one of those type days, Dad would say one of two things. Either, "I think I'm going to take up tennis." Or, "Well, it still beats working."
Maybe you've heard it this way…A bad day [golfing, fishing, hunting, shopping, you fill in the blank] is better than a good day at work.
Let's re-state that with the above passages in mind. Your worst day saved is better than your best day lost! Isn't it good to have your sins forgiven! Isn't it good to have assurance of eternal life! Isn't it good to know that He will never leave or forsake us! Praise God! My sins are gone!