In this thread: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=441656&page=10
I read a statement by a poster which I thought was (unintentionally on his part) rather offensive to St John the Baptist:
"…in fact, according to Jesus Himself, each and every one of us Christians is greater that St. John the Baptist…"
I found this deeply offensive. John the Baptist is most certainly 10 MILLION GAZILLION BILLION TRILLION TIMES MORE HOLY THAN I COULD EVER HOPE TO BE IN MY LIFETIME OR IN THE WORLD TOO COME!
According to Jesus THOUGH, those who belong to his Kingdom are actually described as being in some way “greater” that St. John the Baptist: “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” (Matthew 11:11)
This statement has always concerned me a little.
John the Baptist was so important in salvation history, and he is the first martyr for Jesus and the first to proclaim the Gospel.
His role was unique, and none of us could certainly attain to the same honor and station as being the man granted the right to precede and usher in the Coming of Christ and his Ministry.
Can someone please explain this saying to me? John the Baptist is a SAINT, and it concerns me that Christ is inferring that everybody else in heaven is above him as this poster seemed to think, this obviously cannot be the case surely?
It is my understanding that Jesus was not disputing John’s sanctity, life of heroic virtue, importance, high status, unique position and role in the divine plan, which is above all of us and I daresay everyone else except the Virgin Mary, however he is speaking perhaps in terms of “knowledge” of the Gospel. Christians after Jesus have knowledge of the fullness of public revelation, whereas John - like the OT prophets - had not yet been able to receive this “fullness”, although he was the bridge that made its advent possible?