Who is the greatest person that ever lived before Jesus Christ?
Do a poll on this question and you may be surprised at the varying answers you will get from Christians. Names like Adam, Abraham, Pharaoh, Moses, King David, King Solomon, Elijah, Daniel, Jacob, Isaiah, Julius Cesar, etc. may show up on the list. But here’s what Jesus Christ has to say about the question above: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” Matthew 11:11 (NIV)
From God’s perspective, the believer is greater than anyone that ever lived before Jesus Christ because believers are born of God (John 3:3). The divine nature of God dwells in us (2 Peter 1:4). We, unlike the men of old, have the privilege to approach the throne of grace with boldness (Hebrews 4:16). We have access to a level of wisdom greater than Solomon’s, because we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16). We have the “God-kind” of life, and access to His riches (Ephesians 1:3). In fact, I John 4:17 makes us understand that “as Christ is, so are we in this world”. What a glorious position we have been called to occupy! So by nature, all believers look alike; but our actions set us apart. We all appropriate the blessedness of our new life in different ways, and that makes us look different in the world. So what would your response be if I asked you – who is the greatest Christian on earth today?
For many, the first thing that would probably come to mind is the external works and achievements of some “men of God”. Many will think of some church general overseers, famous healing evangelists or preachers that command the largest crowds in our day. But have you ever wondered why John the Baptist was said to be greater than King Solomon or Moses? If we were to rate them based on “spectacular results”, what spectacular results would you attribute to John the Baptist over the other patriarchs in the scriptures? If God were to answer the same question, would His response be different from ours? Most likely! The bible says in 1Samuel 16:7 (CEV) “…People judge others by what they look like, but I (God) judge people by what is in their hearts.”
Today, God places many of his children around us to support us in Christian growth and fulfilling His mandate, but we sometimes despise them because they are not famous or do not hype their achievements. We spend months trying to get an appointment with that renowned preacher, but the answer to the yearnings of our hearts may be found in the lips of our Sunday School teacher; We consider every word spoken by the man that pastors a 10,000 congregation church to be “the Rhema”, but the words of the pastor of 100 members may well be “the heresy”; We find it difficult to support that poor looking missionary who may currently be nurturing the “Billy Graham” of the next generation, but find it easy to buy the 7th drum set in that big cathedral, even though the drums will be left idle in the church store. It’s a pity that believers of today despise the wristwatches God has placed beside us to help us understand the signs of the times just because they are not the size of our church clocks.
Beloved, let’s stop idolizing men of fame and despising the “seemingly common” believer around us; let’s pay attention to the support God has placed around us and let them help nurture us into greatness. A body that pays attention to only its head and treats other parts as unimportant is on the verge of collapse. A believer that only seeks ‘the spectacular’ is likely to miss the supernatural. God has placed every believer around you for a reason and you should benefit from the greatness around you. As we pay much respect to some of our leaders, we should not despise our fellow believers around us because who knows, the greatest of all may just be the most despised among us.
– Tope Aladenusi