Did Jesus say that John The Baptist was greater than Mary?

Protestants will point to Matthew 11:11 where Jesus claims John the Baptist is the greatest born of woman. Yet we consider Mary to be the greatest human creature as Theotokos. How do we reconcile these arguments?

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist” (Mt 11:11). So does this mean that John the Baptist was greater than Mary? What about Jesus? Shouldn’t he be counted among those born of women?

Obviously a literal, uninformed reading of this verse can be problematic. Jesus must have had a specific context in mind when he made that statement. The context comes into focus when we consider the preceding verse where Jesus asked, “Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?” and then answered, “Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet” (Mt 11:10; emphasis added).

Clearly Jesus was proclaiming John the Baptist to be the greatest of all the prophets, indeed even something greater than a prophet, i.e. the Precursor.

See also: St. John the Baptist.

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