Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A Kingdom of Greatness

Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. (Matthew 11:11)
Jesus gives us the perspective of the kingdom of Heaven on Earth. The Old Testament is full of many mighty men of God who accomplished great and powerful things. But none of them was greater than John the Baptist. He was more than a prophet — he was a forerunner. Jesus identifies him as the one of whom Malachi spoke: “Behold, I send my messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You” (Matthew 11:10, quoting Malachi 3:1).

Follow the mind-blowing logic inherent in Matthew 11:11:
  • John the Baptist was greater than all of the Old Testament saints.
  • The least one in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John the Baptist.
  • Therefore, least one in the kingdom of heaven is greater than all of the Old Testament saints.
Now, this does not mean that we are greater in our holiness, devotion or faith. Rather, it has to do with the greatness of the kingdom of heaven. The prophets of old only foresaw it, but we are actually a part of it. Of these great Old Testament heroes the author of Hebrews writes,
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth …

And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they should not be perfect apart form us. (Hebrews 11:13, 39-40)
They obtained a good testimony because of their great faith, even though they did not live to see the day for which they believed. However, God has provided something for us that is even better, which builds on their ancient witness, and is indeed a fulfillment of it — the kingdom of Heaven on Earth.
  • It is the kingdom of the New Covenant, which is based on better promises (Hebrews 8:6) and instituted in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).
  • It is the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). God has given His Spirit to every member.
  • It is the kingdom of the greater works of Jesus. Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:12-13)
The kingdom of Heaven on Earth is a kingdom of greatness and confers greatness on all who are part of it.



The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth
Keys to the Kingdom of God
in the Gospel of Matthew

by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.