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What the Bible says about Greatness of John the Baptist
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 15:17

John the Baptist was like this too; he sat alone. When push came to shove, the other prophets of God, like Isaiah and Hosea, also sat alone.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 2)

Mark 11:32

Mark 11:32 provides insight as to how the people perceived John. Clearly, the common people considered him a prophet, and indeed, he was. This also shows that the highest Jewish authorities were fully aware of his reputation as a prophet and feared it. We can begin to see that in many respects the magnitude of John's work was similar to Jesus'.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Elijah and John the Baptist

Mark 11:32

The highest Jewish authorities—the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders—were fully aware of John's reputation as a prophet, and they feared it. These men, who were accustomed to the use of power and authority within a nation, would not fear something they did not respect, and they would not respect a wild crazy man. When John talked, people listened. They had something to lose by yielding to his preaching, and so they would not repent.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Prophets and Prophecy (Part 2)

John 3:25-27

Consider this situation. Jesus later testifies that of all men born none was greater than John the Baptist. Earlier in his ministry, John had attracted a great deal of attention. Crowds followed him everywhere and seemed to hang on his every word. Now his bewildered disciples watch the fickle crowds leaving John to hear and follow a new voice. To compound the problem, John himself had extolled Jesus and seemingly set off the exodus of his followers to Him. So in their frustration at not wanting to see John in any sort of disadvantage, they enter into an argument with others around them.

Their question is, "John, this other fellow, this Jesus, is growing great, but you are diminishing. Why? Have you lost your touch? What does He have that you do not?" John's reply reveals a great deal about his character: He is a humble man, not jealous, presumptuous, envious, or bitter. He exhibits no rancor but a generous spirit. He knows who is guiding and directing His servants. He rejoices in the operations that he, as a servant, can perform in being the forerunner of Christ. A paraphrase of his response might be: "I have to work at whatever God charges me and be content with what He gives me. It is not as if Jesus is stealing disciples from me but that God is giving them to Him." He undoubtedly perceives God as His sovereign Ruler.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Sovereignty of God: Part Three


 




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