When Jesus looked across all the mighty men of history who had been born up to that point, He singled out one man as the greatest. That man was John the Baptist. Why did Jesus make this staggering assessment? John was not known for miracles or great prophecies. He embraced the small task of discipling a group of young men. He was in jail longer than he ministered publicly. After John baptized Jesus, John faded into obscurity, and died in jail rather than being chosen as one of Jesus’ disciples.
Given Jesus’ assessment of John’s life and death, it is imperative that we look closely at John’s life and his death we find why Jesus considered him the “greatest.” When we look carefully at John, we find that he is not an enigma, but rather a pattern for a people who will share his zeal for Jesus to come into His glory and His inheritance.