Luke 7:24-30 NRSVue
24When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What, then, did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. 26What, then, did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
28“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.” 29(And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, having been baptized with John’s baptism. 30But the Pharisees and the experts in the law, not having been baptized by him, rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)
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Some thoughts on this scripture
What made John so great - and what an affirmation Jesus gives him! - was his readiness to take second place and point people towards Jesus.
Are there situations in my life where I am asked to take 'second place'? (The person in ‘second place’ is often necessary but not prominent.)
Am I happy with 'second place' like John the Baptist? Do I feel Jesus' affirmation of me?
Do I hate 'second place'? Is there something I need to talk to the Lord about?
Jesus reminds the people of what they sought and found in John the Baptist: they did not search for some trivial reed or elegant courtesan but encountered a sign of God's presence. I take some time to recall and savour again the people who have helped me to discover God's ways.
As I am one of the least in the kingdom of God, I consider that Jesus thinks me great.