So a while ago, we went through Matthew chapter three- and some of John, too. Then we skipped around to Matthew 11:11 which says, "Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he."
...and I thought, "huh? What does that mean- 'no one greater than he'"
And then, bam! I got it.
Why was John the baptist, first of all, the "greatest?" Because of all the prophets that came before him- Daniel, Hosea, Isaiah- only John had the unique calling on his life to not only prepare the way for- but also to baptize the Messiah! I mean, all the other ones could prophecy about him, but only John could say he baptized Him! Sha-bam!
So then, that answers the first question. The next one is: why is it that those in the kingdom of heaven are greater than he is? What???!
Because, even though John was with Jesus, he didn't have Jesus IN him like we Christians do today. God highly values those who have God in them.
Whoa! How COOL is that