Yeshua’s Words about Yohanan the Immerser

& LOY Commentary 14 Comments

Did Jesus regard John the Baptist as a prophet? As more than a prophet? What did he mean that the least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John the Baptist? Explore these questions in Yeshua's Words about Yohanan the Immerser.

Matt. 11:7-11; Luke 7:24-28
(Huck 65, 82; Aland 107; Crook 123)[1]

Revised: 2 March 2022

וְכֵיוָן שֶׁהָלְכוּ מַלְאֲכֵי יוֹחָנָן הִתְחִיל [יֵשׁוּעַ] לוֹמַר לָאֻכְלוּסִים עַל יוֹחָנָן מַה יְצָאתֶם לַמִּדְבָּר לִרְאוֹת קָנֶה מְנוּעֲנָע בָּרוּחַ אֶלָּא מַה יְצָאתֶם לִרְאוֹת אָדָם בַּחֲמוּדוֹת לָבוּשׁ הֲרֵי הָעֹטִים בַּחֲמוּדוֹת בְּבָתֵּי הַמְּלָכִים אֶלָּא מַה יְצָאתֶם לִרְאוֹת נָבִיא הֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם וְיָתֵר עַל נָבִיא זֶה הוּא שֶׁעָלָיו כָּתוּב הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ מַלְאָכִי לְפָנֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יְפַנֶּה דַּרְכְּךָ לְפָנֶיךָ אָמֵן אֲנִי אוֹמֵר לָכֶם לֹא קָם בִּילוּדֵי אִשָּׁה גָּדוֹל מִיּוֹחָנָן הַמַּטְבִּיל אַף הַקָּטֹן שֶׁבְּמַלְכוּת שָׁמַיִם גָּדוֹל מִמֶּנּוּ

As Yohanan the Immerser’s messengers departed, Yeshua asked the crowds, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A windblown reed? No? What, then, did you go out to see? Someone wearing Esau’s clothing? Of course not! People who wear such things are to be found in palaces. So what was it you went out to see? A prophet? Yes, I suspect you were looking for something even more than a prophet.

“Yohanan the Immerser is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold! I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way ahead of you [Exod. 23:20; Mal. 3:1].

“Indeed, I can assure you that among all human beings there has not been anyone greater than Yohanan the Immerser. Nevertheless, the least participant in God’s redeeming reign is more privileged than Yohanan.[2]


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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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