The great John the Baptist (Mt 11:11-11:11)


I say to you!

‘Among those born of women,

No one has risen greater

Than John the Baptist.

Yet the least

In the kingdom of heaven

Is greater than he.’”


ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, οὐκ ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν μείζων Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ· ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν.


This saying about John the Baptist can be found almost word for word in Luke, chapter 7:28.  Thus, this may have been a Q source about John, like many of the other passages about John.  Matthew has Jesus issue this solemn proclamation (ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν,).  There was no other human being, born of a woman (ἐγήγερται ἐν γεννητοῖς γυναικῶν), greater than John the Baptist (μείζων Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ·).  Notice that he used his title here of the Baptist (τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ).  However, those who would be the least, the smallest, or the littlest in the kingdom of heaven would be greater than John (ὁ δὲ μικρότερος ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τῶν οὐρανῶν μείζων αὐτοῦ ἐστιν).  This was great praise for John.  Yet, being a follower of Jesus made you even greater.