Jesus said, “Among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”
Jesus talks about John the Baptist. But John isn’t there to hear him because, at this moment, he is in Herod’s prison.
John’s crime was to criticize Herod for marrying his bother’s wife. John will pay the full price for this when, late one night, an executioner is sent from Herod’s birthday banquet to cut off John’s head.
There had been many prophets in Israel’s history. Jesus says that John is the greatest of all because he was privileged to see the fulfillment of what the prophets had proclaimed – the kingdom of God present in a new way in Jesus.
I live in the time after Jesus – the final stage of God’s plan. It amy be a long stage (perhaps millions of years), but it is the final stage. Creation is very different now because Jesus is part of it.
All that remains is for the human race gradually to live the way we were created to live – in peace, love, forgiveness. That’s how the kingdom of God comes about. (That’s also why it might take a few million years.)
Because of the coming of Christ, the reign of God is present in a new way, and I am to help make it more present. That has some implications for the way I live my life today.