Thursday, January 07, 2010

What do you Do?

Matthew 11:11-12
(11)  Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
(12)  From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

(12) ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται, καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν

I'm not sure where we get the name "John the Baptist" from.  I once saw a panel of various church leaders (it may have been T4G) and they were discussing modes of baptism.  This panel included both credo- and paedo-baptists.  RC Sproul jokingly referred to John as "John the Presbyterian."  It was a great joke.

The point is that we need to be careful not to read our culture into Scripture.  Most literally, John would be called "John, the one who baptizes," or "John the baptizer."  John was not a member of the SBC.

All that notwithstanding, verse 11 is quite powerful, isn't it?  John the Baptizer was the greatest man born naturally and yet those in the kingdom of heaven are greater than he.  I think that gives us some perspective on what it means to be a child of the living God.  If you're not one of His children I hope that this little passage gives you some food for thought.  Why wouldn't you want to be greater than the greatest man born of woman?


tom sheepandgoats said...

The NWT calls him "John the baptizer."

also the Message Bible. And a handful others. It is very rare, however, for a translation to deviate from Baptist.

Jason said...

In that case, in all fairness and intellectual integrity I've got to give my compliments to the NWT on this one.