John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me’”
The gospels emphasize both Jesus’ deity and humanity, being the God-Man. Jesus often referred to Himself as the “Son of Man.” Yet, that never diminished the reality of His deity. He did not lay down His deity, as if that were possible, but took on a physical body. It was an addition, not a subtraction.
One of John the Baptist’s testimonies was that Jesus “ranks before me.” In Biblical culture, the firstborn was the one who was most privileged and had the highest standing among the siblings. We know from Luke that John was born before Jesus, which means that he would have a higher standing.
However, He truly knew that Jesus ranked infinitely higher than anyone born prior to Him, “because he was before me.” Jesus pre-existed from all eternity. His “coming forth is from of old, from ancient days” (Micah 5:2). Jesus’ higher ranking doesn’t only apply to John, but to all mankind.
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“