How spiritually fortunate are we?  In the Bible reading for this week we have Jesus’ words about John the Baptist.  What was the significance of John the Baptist?  Was he more significant than Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and all the minor prophets?  Crucially, was he more significant than Elijah?  Jewish custom was that before the Messiah came, Elijah would return.  Elijah represented the prophets in Judaism as Moses represented the Law.  Was John the Baptist greater than any of these?  What does Jesus say?  Jesus says that John was more than a prophet – more than anyone that came before.  Yet, equally interestingly, Jesus says that the least in the Kingdom of God will be greater than John the Baptist.  What does this mean?  Perhaps Jesus is alluding to the fact that unlike us, John never knew the breadth of God’s love revealed in the cross.  John died before Jesus’ passion and resurrection.  John knew about judgement, destruction and the need for repentance but he didn’t know the other side of God’s gracious love and forgiveness revealed in the cross.  What about us?  How fortunate are we?  We know about the meaning of the cross.  We have a fuller picture of what God is like.  In Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension we have the complete jig-saw of what God is like.  John had this in part, but not fully.  How spiritually fortunate are we?