Matthew 11:11 – The Greatest Man?

One has claimed that Jesus stated that John the Baptist was greater than any man, evidently with a desire to prove that Jesus was more than a man. In reality, such would also mean that Jesus was not wholly man, as is claimed by the those who believe in the alleged dual natures of Jesus.

Jesus did not say that John the Baptist was the greatest man to be born; he did say:

Matthew 11:11
Most assuredly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen one greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

The Greek does not actually have the word “one” in it, but it, or some other word, has to be supplied in English for it to make sense in English. However, even if Jesus were speaking of any man in general here, he did not say that John was the greatest of all men, but rather that there was none greater than John the Baptist. In other words, it would mean that even if there were some as great, there were none greater.

Luke lets us know that Jesus was speaking of John as a “prophet”.

Luke 7:28
“For I tell you, among those who are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptizer, yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

What was Jesus speaking of here? He was contrasting the age of the Law and the Prophets, of whom John the Baptist was the last (Matthew 11:13; Luke 16:16), with the age often spoken of as “Gospel Age”, for now one can be transferred into the kingdom of God’s son. (Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:12). All who are transferred into the kingdom are considered to be greater than any of the prophets had been.

See our studies related to:
The Alleged “Dual Natures” of Jesus.

         
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