When I was just a young believer and leading a house church, a pastor of a regular church in a town 30 miles from me had been encouraged to invite me to speak at his evening service. When I arrived on his doorstep a couple of hours before the meeting, he was visibly shocked by how young and small I was. His chin hit the floor when he realized I was his guest speaker for the evening church service. He was shocked as he looked down at me when he came to the door. He was surprised at my youth, saying, "but you are so young!" I replied, “I am trying to get old, but it takes time.” Don’t be put off and think that God cannot use you because of your youth or because of your lack of experience. Walking with God happens when we take one step at a time, and He can use whomever He chooses. David, Jeremiah, and Timothy were all young when God began using them. We tend to believe that God only uses the big names, as well as the wise and knowledgeable, but it is not true. God wants His power to flow through us whatever our age or background. It’s not about what we know or how much wisdom we have acquired; God loves to use those who are just babies in their new faith.
I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he (Matthew 11:11 Emphasis mine).
What do you think Jesus meant by the words, “he who is least in the kingdom of heaven?” My viewpoint on this verse is that John the Baptist, although a great man of God, did not have the Holy Spirit in the same way that Christians have the Spirit after He was poured out on the believers on the Day of Pentecost. The Holy Spirit was not given to all believers until Jesus was glorified:
“…By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified” (John 7:39).
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17, Emphasis mine).
I believe the least in the kingdom of heaven refers to one who has just stepped into a relationship with Christ. One who knows very little about who they are and Who they belong to, yet living inside of them is the Spirit of the Living God, the creator of the Universe! He who is least in the kingdom of God has incredible potential but does not yet know what he or she can do with that potential. A Christian is one brought into a spiritual union with Christ, what’s known as being born again (John 3:3). Paul admonishes the Corinthian believers by saying,
“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?” “…He who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:15-17).
If you are a believer, the Spirit of the living God lives within you. You are not just a Christian! You are sons and daughters of the living God, bought and paid for by the precious blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Start believing what God says about you! Keith Thomas