Amen, I say to you, among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah, the one who is to come. Whoever has ears ought to hear. (Mt 11:11-15)



The reading speaks about John the Baptist and his work. As regard him he is in the long list of people who prepare for the arrival of the Messiah. In fact he is the last one. The preparation has begun with Abraham, Moses and Elijah (law and the prophets). Jesus says that John was Elijah. Here he is trying to say that, the belief of the people that Elijah should return before the coming of the Messiah, is fulfilled. Jesus is telling us to see the events in God’s time table. According to God’s time table the things are happening as HE has planned.


John has completed his mission and in fact he has been pushed into the prison for it. He is the greatest among men because he has completed his mission. But from the point of view of the kingdom he is not the greatest, for the criteria in the kingdom has a different scale of rating.  Jesus is not just telling about John, rather he is talking about himself. He is talking about his own messiahship. The messiah he is trying to be is not according to the expectation of most of the people and he does not want to force himself on people.