> St. John the Baptist
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Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he
" (Mt 11:11). What does this verse mean? St. Augustine says, "Among them that are born of women," saith the Lord, "there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is less in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he;" less in time, but greater in majesty. This He said, meaning Himself to be understood. Now exceedingly great among men is John the Baptist, than whom among men Christ alone is greater. It may also be thus stated and explained, "Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding, he that is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Not in the sense that I have before explained it. "Notwithstanding, he that is the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he;" the kingdom of heaven he meant where the Angels are; he then that is the least among the Angels, is greater than John. Thus He set forth to us the excellence of that kingdom which we should long for; set before us a city, of which we should desire to be citizens. What sort of citizens are there? How great are they! Whoso is the least there, is greater than John. Than what John? "Than whom there hath not risen a greater among them that are born of women."
If at the time of the baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, John the Baptist knew that it was Jesus and that He was the Christ, why did he ask the question that he had asked in Holy Gospel according to St. Luke 7:19 and Holy Gospel of St. Matthew 3:14? And right after the baptism in Holy Gospel of St. John 1:34, St. John says "
And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of GOD
Why did St. John the Baptist have to be the person he was, who came from the desert, as a new kind of prophet that the Jews were not used to seeing?
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