1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured What Did Jesus Mean?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Deeje, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    For Christians....concerning John the Baptist, Jesus said....

    11 Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."

    Bible Gateway passage: Matthew 11:11 - English Standard Version

    What do you think Jesus meant by this? Please include scripture to support your answer.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Messages:
    6,213
    Ratings:
    +4,090
    Religion:
    Baha'i
    John the Baptist was the return of the spirit of Elijah whose advent was prophecised to herald the coming of the Messiah or Christ.

    Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
    And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
    For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
    And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

    Matthew 11:11-15
    Matthew 17:11-12
    Isaiah 40:3

    Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord

    Malachi 4:5, Malachi 3:1

    The prophet Elijah was taken up in a whirlwind

    2 Kings 2:1-11

    It was the spirit of Elijah, not Elijah physically
    Luke 1:17

    John the Baptist specifically denied being Elijah (meaning physically or reincarnated)
    John 1:19-23

    This all has important implications for the manner in which Christ returns...
     
    • Like Like x 4
  3. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2013
    Messages:
    25,920
    Ratings:
    +10,377
    Religion:
    Catholic-- liberal & ecumenical
    The common belief back then was that sin was more of a temptation with and through the "weaker sex"-- ala Eve-- so I think the verse deals with that no one borne of one with sin was greater then John.
     
    • Creative Creative x 1
  4. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    21,770
    Ratings:
    +6,074
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian almost quaker
    The sermons of John the Baptist are hinted at when the gospels call him the voice in the wilderness, alluding to the passage of Isaiah 40, the song of Hanna (1sam 2:1-10), and to various other prophets. It has to do with equality. Isaiah says the hills will be lowered and the valleys raised up, which refers to this. John the Baptist, therefore, though he is the greatest is through faith the least. This is also the gospels repeating their claim of "The first shall be last and the last shall be first." and sourcing it in the prophets.
     
  5. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,699
    Ratings:
    +108
    Who calls themselves least? (1 cor 15:9) Who is to be called "least" in the kingdom of heaven?(Matthew 5:19). Who takes the kingdom of heaven by force? (Matthew 11:12) What does the word "paul" mean? And what is the foremost of "little"? (superlative) And who deceives "those who dwell on the earth" (Revelation 13:14), and how?

    New American Standard Bible 1 Corinthians 15:9
    For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
     
  6. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Yes...that is what was prophesied and Jesus identified John as the one sent with the spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for the Jewish people to receive their Messiah. Interestingly John was scathing in his criticism of the Pharisees, just as Jesus was. Those who sided with the Jewish leaders missed their opportunity to become to God "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" as he intended them to be, had they obeyed him.

    Yes, he was not reincarnated because that was never a Jewish belief, but they did believe in resurrection, so this was what they probably suspected. As you mentioned, an angel had told Zechariah (John’s father) that John would serve with “Elijah’s spirit and power,” to turn the Jews back to Jehovah. (Luke 1:17) So like Elijah, John played a vital role in the success of Jesus' ministry and the people's acceptance of him as Messiah. In this way, there was not a human being in existence who played a greater role on earth in supporting the Christ than John did.

    I see John's role as more important in the first appearance of Jesus rather than any role in his return. I do not see any mention of John in that event.

    But the question remains....why is "one who is least in the kingdom of heaven greater than he"?

    Who is a least one in the Kingdom of Heaven who is greater than John...and why?
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Not sure that scripture backs up that idea but have you any thoughts about why a least one in the kingdom is greater than John?
     
  8. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Not sure this answers the questions Brick. :shrug:

    John played a vital role in the people's acceptance of Jesus as the Christ, so in that way he was an outstanding figure on earth....but why is he overshadowed by one who is least in the kingdom of God?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity simple man
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    21,770
    Ratings:
    +6,074
    Religion:
    Liberal Christian almost quaker
    It may not be the answer some are looking for, but it answers the question for me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    I am having difficulty disciphering all of that? Could you be more succinct in your reply. Are you saying that this refers to Paul?
     
  11. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,699
    Ratings:
    +108
    If you would answer the questions proffered, you would have your answer. John the Baptist was a voice in the wilderness, the "false prophet" partnered with the beast with two horns like a lamb (Constantine the Great king of Rome) to deceive "those who dwell on the earth", which one had the greatest effect? I would say that Matthew 11:12 answers Matthew 11:11.
     
  12. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    I'm sorry but the questions were rather obscure.....you tend to forget that not everyone is on your wavelength. Can you not just state things clearly? ( 1Corinthians 14:8-9) I haven't got time for riddles.

    So does this mean that John the Baptist is not what Jesus called him?...."among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist."

    As one that Jesus said, had Elijah's spirit, how is he the bad guy?

    I don't think your scenario makes much sense to anyone but you....
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    35,784
    Ratings:
    +3,822
    Religion:
    Guess
    I don't think that is what is written. I think that what was written is that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven IS AS great as he is.
     
  14. savagewind

    savagewind Something, not nothing
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Messages:
    35,784
    Ratings:
    +3,822
    Religion:
    Guess
    I forgot. (thanks for the free post, my friend! ) Galatians 3:28 That is the backup post.

    There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Can you possibly see that one thing can't be more than one?

    Ask yourself, pretty please. Was John for Jesus Christ or not?
     
  15. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    1,924
    Ratings:
    +447
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    My theory is that for whoever is born again into the kingdom of God as in John 3:3-5 they have potential to do greater things than John the baptist or the other prophets as in Matthew 21:21. Doesn't mean they will all tap into that potential, but they do have the potential.
     
  16. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,699
    Ratings:
    +108
    Those of the kingdom of heaven are born of God (1 John 3:9). Those of the kingdom of heaven have entered into life.(Matthew 7:14). The "false prophet" and the "beast" have both ate of the tree of life, and cannot die (Revelation 20:10). In 1 Cor 15:9, Paul calls himself "least". In Matthew 5:19, Yeshua calls Paul least. According to Paul, the angel of light called him "little" (Paul), and the foremost of "little" for the foremost sinner, is least. Paul is called least in the kingdom of heaven for he annuls the Law (Romans 7:6) & (Matthew 5:1) . Paul is the foremost/greatest sinner according to Paul. John the Baptist was simply a voice in the wilderness (Matthew 3:3), who preached without the powers of the kingdom of heaven, who was used to witness for Yeshua . John the Baptist while of the spirit of Elijah, showed no use of those powers while being a cousin to Yeshua, and simply preached repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
     
  17. Deeje

    Deeje Deeje
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    7,533
    Ratings:
    +3,724
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    The trouble with "I think" is the "I". Perhaps reading the scripture again will help with the "I" trouble?

    Being fed spiritually is not self serve according to Jesus. (Matthew 24:45)
     
  18. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,699
    Ratings:
    +108
    Those of the kingdom of heaven are born of God (1 John 3:9). The followers of the false prophet Paul, born of women, are the tares/lawless/bad guys. Elijah had the powers of the kingdom of heaven. John the Baptist did not display such powers. He may have had the spirit of Elijah, but he showed no powers and was looking for someone who did, to witness for them (Malachi 4:5). The land was smitten with a curse (Mal 4:6) because the people did not "remember the law of Moses" (Malachi 4:4).
     
  19. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    51,964
    Ratings:
    +11,570
    Religion:
    None (atheist)
    The context in the story is that Jesus is saying this to a crowd who had just listened to John the Baptist.

    My take on it is that Jesus felt that the crowd wasn’t suitably impressed by John the Baptist, so Jesus rebuked them, accused them of rejecting John because he didn’t match their expectations for a prophet, and proclaimed that John was greater than any other prophet and that what John described was far greater than him.
     
  20. 2ndpillar

    2ndpillar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2013
    Messages:
    1,699
    Ratings:
    +108
    The "devil", the "false prophet", and the "beast" both have apparently everlasting life, for their torment is apparently "forever and ever" (Revelation 20:11). As you say John the Baptist was righteous, and does not have the same outcome as the "false prophet". But Paul, as a false prophet, had greater affect on men than John the Baptist. Keep in mind that the "false prophet", and the "beast" all had "demon spirits" (Revelation 16:13-14).
     
    #20 2ndpillar, Oct 10, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
Loading...