I have been struggling all day with the Bible’s words. This morning, the Bible opened to Luke, where Jesus talks about John the Baptist. There is a similar passage in Matthew. I read both, read the footnotes and read a few commentaries, and I am still not sure what Jesus is telling me:
I tell you, among those born of women, no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, and who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
“Then to what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. We sang a dirge, but you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating food nor drinking wine, and you said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and you said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
The best I can discern is that Jesus is telling us that as great as John was, he preceded the kingdom of heaven. He preceded Jesus’ death and resurrection, preceded Jesus’ opening the gates of heaven and the sending of the Holy Spirit. My first thought is how fortunate am I to have been born when I was. My second thought is one of utter awe and amazement. I am suddenly struck by just how huge Jesus’s coming was. Jesus’ love and grace changed the world — changed heaven. And there is no way to compare what was before with what occurred after. And there is no way for me to truly comprehend life before Christ.
I continue to be amazed by you. By your love and grace. By your words and plan. I am humbled. I know that it is a gift of which I am not worthy and yet is freely given. I seek your wisdom. I seek you. Help me to listen so that I might see.