“What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet… I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:26-28).
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus praises John the Baptist for his shining qualities as a prophet per excellence. John the Baptist did not only speak for the Truth, he himself bore witness to the truth by sacrificing his very life for the truth.
John the Baptist announced Christ right from the womb of his mother, Elizabeth. He leaped in the womb when as a foetus, he sensed the presence of Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary.
John the Baptist did not just preach repentance, his very lifestyle spoke volumes. He deprived himself of the comforts and luxuries of this life just to be able to capture the attention of the people to his message.
However, Jesus said: “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.” What does this mean? That heaven is so different from this world and the standards of judgement or ranking are not like what we see here on earth.
On the other hand, for Jesus to say that John the Baptist is not as great as the least person in heaven, clearly indicates that heaven is not an easy place. It means I must do my very best to live a good life. No wonder Jesus asserted in Luke 13:24 “Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”
If at all I must aim for heaven, then I must aim high lest I fall below my aspiration just as I need to aim for the highest grade while preparing for an exam. And perfection is the key to attaining heaven.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to give my very best. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 54:1-10, Ps. 30:2,4-6,11-13, Luke 7:24-30).