*WISDOM FOR TODAY.*
*'OLDER' THAN GOD (3).*
Matt 11:8-10 *But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.*
*But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.*
*For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.*
*Insight and Highlight.*
Matthew 21:11 *And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.*
Jesus opens up His first comment of the relation in which John stood to Himself.
His comment of endorsement of John's ministry teaches us how Jesus saw John and how we ought to see each other in ministry.
In the next further few editions of the first known man, not only sent by God but also six months 'older' than God who was in Christ, we will look at a few further lessons we hope to learn.
First, Jesus's comment and approval of John point to how God can honor a mortal by a direct and unequivocal pronouncent, not to one person, but to a multitude. Matt 11:7 says *....Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John,....*
Second, Jesus, who remains forever and incomparably is greatest, in His earthly ministry was a prophet, yet He esteemed John as not just a prophet but *...more than a prophet.*
Matt 21:11 says the multitude said
*....This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.*
Jesus Himself proclaimed Himself a prophet when He said in Mark 6:4 *A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.*
People hardly, from their hearts, esteem others in the same rank or positions as they are more than themselves.
Third, Jesus made a distinction among several ministry gifts.
Paul lists five ministry gifts.in Eph 4:11. These are Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher.
These are ministry gifts given to people who are called to ministry leadership within church.
In Matt 11:7, Jesus asked the multitude concerning John.
He asked them, *"What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?*
Jesus asked them this question for the purpose of giving them more information about who John was before God.
Significant also was a mention of the prophet, which is one of the ministry gifts and office.
Jesus created an awareness in the people that a person can occupy the office of a prophet, but another in the same office could be more than a prophet before God.
Jesus is God and could not be saying that John was more acceptable to God than He was, but Jesus's illustration here is for us to see how God
differently, sees everyone occupying a ministry leadership position.
By saying John was a prophet and was more than a prophet, Jesus was not saying a ministry or spiritual gift is greater than the other because each is given by the same Spirit. He was saying that being a prophet as another prophet does not make you the same before God.
We must respect each other and elders in ministry, but being older yet occupying the same or different ministry leadership position with a peer who is younger does not determine God's favoritism.
The same goes for other ministry gifts of the Apostle, Evangelist, Pastor, and Teacher. Being one with another person does not give you the same stature before God.
We must know that though we may be Pastors as our leaders are, Reverend as our leaders are, Bishop, as our leaders, we may occupy the same offices as they do, but this does not mean we are at the same level with them before God.
Things do not work like this with God. Responsibilities, mantles, anointing, and favor with God all differ. Even one without an office may stand more perfectly with God than any of these, ref Rom 16.
There are people often more favored by God, and the reason for this is exclusively known to God, ref Rom 9:13-16.
In John's case, Christ explained why going to see a prophet as John was as seeing more than a prophet.
Jesus was not saying the prophets during the time of John (if any) were not of God. John was simply distinguished and exemplary.
If we walk perfectly with God, we can be more than others in any ministry leadership position we occupy.
As far as John was concerned, being older than Jesus was not what made him excel. It was the Spirit of God in him. He was the 'author' of taking the kingdom by force, daring the consequences as long as God prevailed. John was truly a God-man
Do not be God, only the God-Man can make you a God-man.
John was older than Christ, but Christ made him who he was.
*Call to Word action.*
John did not boast he *.....was a man sent from God,...* as Jesus was sent.
He did not equal himself with Jesus.
*The Christian clarion duty.*
Let God determine your place and pace.
Lord, please determine my place and pace in Your Kingdom in Jesus name.
Good morning all, and have a blessed day today.
God bless you.