Welcome to another publication on The Gospel Exposition Blog. Today, we will be treating an interesting topic, which is THE GREATEST PROPHET OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. Someone might ask, what’s up with the greatest prophet? Who really was the greatest prophet? Did the bible say anything about this? Could the greatest be Elijah or Moses? Let me tell you to relax and read along. There’s a lesson to learn today more than who the greatest really was.
“Luke 7:28 (NKJV)
For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
Here, Jesus was talking to his disciples and multitudes around Him and referred to John as the greatest of all the prophets. You and I know how great Elijah was. He called down fire from heaven, river Jordan fled before Him, he’s highly respected even among the Israelites, yet to our God, he wasn’t the greatest prophet. But to be candid, Moses should be the greatest. He led the Israelites out of Egypt and walked through the red sea on dry land. There are countless and awesome miracles in the wilderness. That’s great. Isn’t that what you are thinking? Yet, our master didn’t call him the greatest. We can go on and mention the name of some great prophets as well.
Let me make it clear to you. Jesus was not making a mistake to say John was the greatest of the prophets under the Old Covenant of law. He actually meant what He said. So if John the Baptist was the greatest of all the Old Testament prophets, what exactly was Jesus’ point or what criterion made him fit for that position? And to the greatest surprise, Jesus said the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he – John. That’s an eye opener to why he was referred to as the greatest prophet. But before we go into this, let’s check the prophecy of the purpose of his birth.
“Luke Chapter 1
67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68 “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited and redeemed His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David,
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, Who have been since the world began,
71 That we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us,
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74 To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76 “And you, child (John the Baptist), will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.”
We would clearly see that the purpose of his birth was to prepare the way of the Lord for the salvation of His people by Himself. He was to be a forerunner of that Truth. He pointed directly to the One that is to come. He’s much closer in relating who Christ was to humanity than did the other prophets. Pay close attention to verses 76 to 79, John’s birth was clearly to bring people to the Light and prepare them for the redemption to come through Christ. That was the prophecy about him and the exact was what was seen in his life. Luke 3: 1-22.That said.
Now, back to Luke 7:28. Jesus affirmed that the greatest of the prophet that ever existed under the Old Covenant was John. Furthermore, He said the least in God’s kingdom that is under the New Covenant is greater than the greatest of the Old Covenant. Now, what does this imply? Jesus was telling them that the Old Covenant prophets tried their best to point to Him in the best way they could, but they didn’t get it alright. Everything they had was an impression about Him, not the true picture. But John was the closest to reveal Him better to humanity (even though the Holy Spirit did perfect it). He prepared the way of the Lord for men to enter into the kingdom. So the only criterion that gave him an edge was that he prepared men for the kingdom (in reality and not in types and shadow by other prophets).
Now, what is the point of discussion? The greatness was not in terms of miracles or mightiness, it was in respect to salvation.
The greatest believer is the one whose goal, aim and responsibility is to reach the lost souls. The greatest believer is not the one who does the biggest miracle or has the highest number of congregation or biggest auditorium. No. Greatness is determined by your response to doing the will of God who would have all men saved and come to the knowledge of truth – the truth which is Christ. The greatest believer is the soul winning believer.
See, don’t belittle yourself. John could never have thought he would be referred as the greatest. The eyes of the great and mighty prophets in the Old Covenant would have popped out of the socket at the hearing of this truth. Well, allow me to tell you that Jesus meant what he said. He is God and understands things beyond human reasoning. The one who prepares men for God’s kingdom is the greatest in the sight of God. That’s the way God sees you now when you preach the gospel. He said you are greater than the greatest of the prophets under the Old Covenant. Isn’t that amazing? Learn to expand His kingdom. Be glad to do this work with all your might in every capacity you can.
In conclusion, let the instruction in Mark 16:15 be your joy. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. This way, God sees you so great in His sight. You can start little. Yes, you can start now. Let doing God’s will be your joy and you will be rewarded by our God in heaven.
We are sure you enjoyed this post. We would be glad to have your questions and comments if you have any. Check us again on Thursday for more and do not forget to share this piece with friends. Thank you. God bless you.