Matthew 11:11 – Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist…
Did you ever meet someone and you knew from the first time you met them that there was something different about them? It was that way with John the Baptist, the man who was chosen by God to be the forerunner for the Messiah. What was it that made him so different from everyone else?
First he had a filling of the Holy Spirit from birth (Luke 1:15). Every Christian possesses the Holy Spirit at salvation, but not every Christian is “filled with the Spirit.” We need a continual filling of the Spirit, which comes by obedience.
Second, his dwelling set him apart from others. He dwelt in the deserts and wilderness areas on the outskirts of town. He wasn’t enamored with everything city life had to offer, neither was he bothered by the hustle and bustle of crowded streets. He had time to spend alone with God.
His preaching was also different. He was more than a prophet, he was the “messenger” of the Messiah! He preached repentance and then pointed people to the Redeemer. His most famous words are, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
Next, notice that his doubting was different in that he went to the Lord with his doubts instead of harboring them to himself. He had to understand that things do not always turn out the way we think they should.
Finally, his dying was different. It was gory – his head was decapitated and served on a platter. But in death he gave glory to the Lord fulfilling his calling. For in his own words he said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
What a commendation from our Lord. There is no greater!