“Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize–a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].” (Matthew 11:11-12)
Jesus is telling the crowd about His cousin John the Baptist. Everyone thought John was somewhat eccentric with his clothes and living in the wilderness on locusts and honey. He was the greatest prophet Jesus said. “But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and one out of the common, more eminent, more remarkable and superior to a prophet.” It was written of John in Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger ahead of You, who shall make ready Your way before You.”
John the Baptist was sold out to God. He was all in. He was as hot as boiling water for God. He was way more than a prophet. He began laying the groundwork for the ministry of Jesus Christ among the people of Israel. Yet there is one sentence that Jesus spoke that tells us how much power and authority we have in Him through the Cross. He said “yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Up until the time of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came UPON men and women. He did not fill them. People could not access God like we take for granted today in the age of grace. As much power and zeal that John the Baptist exerted in his ministry, you and I are greater because we have been filled with the Holy Spirit! All of the old testament saints and prophets only dreamed about what we have access to.
The kingdom of heaven has been fought for fiercely and still is today. What would you do if you saw a huge, brilliant diamond sticking out of a rock? It’s worth millions! You’d head for the nearest hardware store and get a jack hammer and bust it out of the ground! The kingdom of heaven is just as brilliant, just as priceless..more so! There are no limits in the kingdom of heaven, except your faith and your passion for Him. God will take you as far as you will let Him! A life that is “all in” for God is full of purpose, full of expectations, full of hope and full of passion. And that is what living is all about isn’t it?