Greatness vs. Grandness

John the Baptist was no ordinary man. Jesus Christ himself said, “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John” (Luke 7:28). However this great man lived in isolation, foraged for food, slept in the open, and dressed in a sweater of sorts make from camel hair. We tend to imagine great men living in great houses with great comforts and a great staff. John had none of that. He wasn’t grand. He certainly wasn’t impressive. The ministry he conducted was controversial, so attracting a crowd was not his objective. It required an effort to get out to where he was, so making it convenient wasn’t his goal. The message he preached was repentance, so offending people was no big deal. The response to the message required a humbling act, so making people comfortable was irrelevant. The stigma attached to him could result in political and certainly religious consequences, but the people still came in droves. He was controversial, inconvenient, intolerant, offensive, and unpopular with the religious and political elite. It just goes to show you can be great without being grand.

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