What does Matthew 11:11 mean?
ESV: Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
NIV: 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.
NASB: Truly I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist! Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
CSB: "Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one greater than John the Baptist has appeared, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
NLT: I tell you the truth, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!
KJV: Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
NKJV: “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.
Verse Commentary:
"A prophet…and more than a prophet" is how Jesus has just described John the Baptist (Matthew 11:9). He has referred to Malachi's prophecy as a way of affirming John's status (Matthew 11:10). That comment also serves as Jesus' claim to being the "one who is to come" (Matthew 11:3).

Christ now adds that not only is John the greatest of the prophets, he is the greatest of every person ever born on earth. This statement, as with all Scripture, should be considered carefully in context. John served as the one man chosen by God to prepare the way for the Messiah. There is no more privileged position on earth than to point others to Jesus as the Messiah, and God gave John that mission first and above all. Also, John had a better understanding of who Messiah was than any of the prophets who came before.

Jesus is quick to add, however, that even the least person in the kingdom of heaven is "greater" than John the Baptist. Heaven's kingdom will be filled with those declared righteous before God by His grace and because of their faith in Jesus. In Christ, their sins will be forgiven and God will give them credit for the righteous life that Jesus lived. Anyone forgiven for all sin and is declared righteous before God through faith in Christ will be better—"greater"—than John the Baptist standing only in his own righteousness.

John was the last of the prophets to point forward to the kingdom of heaven. This gave him greater status and knowledge than any who came before. Yet he is not greater in either status or knowledge, than those who will stand in the kingdom itself.
Verse Context:
Matthew 11:1–19 deals with John the Baptist, who is in prison at this point (Matthew 4:12). John sends his own disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them an answer and then upholds John to the crowds. He reminds them of John's strength and affirms that John was the prophet who fulfilled the prophecy about the one who would prepare the way for the Messiah. This generation, though, rejected John's message of repentance, saying that John had a demon and that Jesus was a glutton and a drunkard. Jesus insists He and John will be proved right in the end.
Chapter Summary:
John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus gives them a specific answer to use to reassure John and then upholds John to the crowds. John fulfills the prophecy about the one who would prepare the people for the Messiah. This generation, though, refused to hear John or Jesus, deciding John had a demon and Jesus was a glutton and drunkard. Jesus condemns the cities that refuse to repent and thanks the Father for revealing the truth to little children. He offers rest for those who are weary and burdened.
Chapter Context:
Matthew 11 follows Jesus' instructions to the apostles about taking His message and miracles to the towns of Israel with His own continued ministry of teaching (Matthew 10). Jesus answers a question from John the Baptist's followers, and upholds John's ministry. Jesus condemns several cities in Galilee for rejecting His teaching, despite obvious signs. He thanks His Father for hiding the truth from those who arrogantly think they are wise. He offers rest for those who will take His yoke. This leads to further confrontations with critics, recorded in chapter 12.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Matthew clearly shows the influence of its writer's background, and his effort to reach a specific audience. Matthew was one of Jesus' twelve disciples, a Jewish man, and a former tax collector. This profession would have required literacy, and Matthew may have transcribed some of Jesus' words as they were spoken. This book is filled with references to the Old Testament, demonstrating to Israel that Jesus is the Promised One. Matthew also includes many references to coins, likely due to his former profession. Matthew records extensive accounts of Jesus' teaching, more than the other three Gospels.
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