555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

294. Why Did Jeans Say of John "He That Is Least in the Kingdom of God Is Greater than He"?

The passage in Luke 7:28 is frequently misunderstood, as being spoken in derogation of John, because of the doubt his messengers had implied in their question (verse 20). The true meaning, as Weiss and other commentators believe, is that Jesus was speaking of the differences in the success of the Baptist with certain classes. The common people and the publicans, who had repented under John's ministry, and had been baptized by him, understood the meaning of Jesus and were glad (verse 29), but the Pharisees and Scribes— the very class who should have been models of righteousness, had rejected and despised John. That jesus spoke with this contrast in view is made dear in verses 30 to 35 inclusive. He was speaking of the advancement of the kingdom in the hearts of men.