7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:
“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’[c]
11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[d] and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.
16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:
17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
Jesus Changed It All
Jesus, you changed it all. You fulfilled the old system and John was the last great prophet. However, he was making way for you. You are a hidden king. I think of Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings as a picture of you. His transcendent authority as King of Middle Earth is hidden in the guise of ‘Strider’ the Ranger of the North. However, as time progresses, Strider takes on more the mantle of Aragorn, son of Arathorn of the Dunedain. In a much greater way, you were hidden from those around you. You subtly revealed yourself as the one worthy of John’s bold announcements. He was the last of God’s fiery prophets making the way for the true King of Kings. I’m sure Herod Agrippa and Herod Antipas were not pleased.
Jesus, teach me to find you as you are. Help me, unlike John, to anticipate what sort of king you should be. Tell me more clearly what sort of king you are.
- What was public opinion about John?
- What was Jesus’ opinion about John?
- To whom was John compared?
- Have you sought Jesus on his own terms?
- How do you prepare people to cultivate a relationship with Jesus on his own terms?