7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear. 16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others: 17 “‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”
This passage records the dawning of the Kingdom age where Jesus is offering a new way of understanding God’s timetable. He tells his hearers that Israel’s long history, from Abraham and Moses through the prophets to the present moment, was preparation. Now the preparation was over, and a new age had begun. John was indeed the greatest among the preparers, but even the most insignificant person who was accepting God’s kingdom and living by it—in other words, who was hearing Jesus and following him—was ‘greater’, simply because they were living in the time of fulfilment.
What a privilege it is for us to live in the Kingdom Age. Do we understand the privilege – do we treat this as a privilege or does our familiarity with it leave us blasé?
Father may the excitement of living in the age of the Kingdom truly grip us and consume our focus!
Written by Ps. Richard Botta