Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born
of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist"
(Matt. 2:2). Why was John greater than all others born of women?
John the Baptist preached the message of repentance to the mighty
and the lowly. On the banks of Jordan, John preached to publicans
and soldiers (Luke 3:12-14). John also preached to Herod, the
king, and Herodias, the queen, the stem message of repentance.
It is easy, as one commentator put it, to preach to those who
are weak and of low estate; however, the real test comes when
we preach to those of high rank, those who are in position to
harm or help us.
John the Baptist wasn't a hireling. He preached truth regardless
of the grade of his listeners.
The content of John's message was to the point. John did not waste
his breath preaching something irrelevant. Preachers must preach
things that cause the listeners to come face to face with their
own shortcomings. John said to Herod, "It is not lawful for
thee to have thy brother's wife" (Mark 6:18). John preached
it every time he saw Herod and Herodias (the imperfect tense is
used in Mark 6:18, showing John repeated the message). John kept
on preaching what he did to Herod and Herodias because he loved
their souls enough to tell them they must separate.
Do we love the souls of the lost enough to preach a soul-convicting
gospel which will cause them to think on their unholy condition?
One thing is sure: The courtiers of Herod and Herodias were not
going to tell these two powerful people to separate. No sir! The
hirelings of Herod's court didn't love the souls of Herod and
John the Baptist was greater because he was true to the Father
and because he loved lost souls. Therefore he was murdered.
So, the next time a preacher or classroom teacher or elder says
something that pricks our hearts let's not get angry. Let's understand
that they may have one of the traits which made John the Baptist
a great person in the eyes of the Son of God-love for the souls
of men and women and dedication to the will of the heavenly Father.
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