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Why was John the Baptist so great according to Jesus?

“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. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Matthew 11:11-14

            Jesus loved John the Baptist for a few reasons.

1.      He was family, a second cousin, since Jesus’ mom, Mary, and John’ mom, Elizabeth, were cousins.

2.      John, like Jesus, gave his whole life to ministry and reaching people for the kingdom.

3.      John broke the 400-year prophet silence since Malachi in the Old Testament.

4.      John kickstarted Jesus’ ministry by fulfilling prophecy and preparing people for the Jesus’ kingdom coming to earth.

5.      John fulfilled the prophecy of a voice in the wilderness preaching the kingdom of God (Isaiah) and the soon-coming Elijah (Malachi).