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Who is the Great?

All of us are eager to know about the great personalities of the contemporary world, as also

How they reached this peak point. Mohandas Karamchand  Gandhi, better known as the father of our nation, is regarded and respected as “ Mahatma Gandhi”.

Born like any other boy in an ordinary poor family, and per suing studies under the street lights of his neighbourhood, Abraham Lincoln reached the highest epicentre of power in America, as the president of the USA. Many examples of such ordinary people who began from a naught, but trod the footsteps of victory to reach the highest position of power, social circles, honest politics or industrial world with total dedication, commitment and hard work can be sited from our land also.

The story of an ordinary Gujarathi youth still lingers in my mind. After matriculation ( the present 10th class), like any of our country lads, this youngster of sixteen  reached the small gulf country of Yemen in search of a job. He worked as an assistant in a Petrol station for a long time before being elevated as a clerk there. It was at this time that the Govt. of Yemen

Decided to introduce “ paper currency” in place of existing metal currency. The old silver coins were auctioned which this youth took and converted into Silver bars. Later he left the country and came back to India. In India he started a small business which gradually grew into a large organisation, and to the present huge business empire called Reliance group of companies. That young chap was none other than Dirubai Ambani, the founder of the Reliance group.

Thinking of the great men and women of the Bible, Moses , Abraham, David, Sarah, Ruth, Esther, Paul, Peter etc. come to mind first. But Jesus talks about an ordinary person who is greater. ”.. among those born of women there has not risen one greater than him…” is how described this man. (Matt: 11:11) he is none other than JOHN THE BAPTIST. Why did our Lord testify John to be so tall a personality?

Firstly, scripture says HE WAS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT- even from his mother’s womb

(LK 1:15). Now every single person has a genuine desire to become great and nothing wrong in it. The undesirable part is that most of them choose the easiest short-cut ways to attend this goal. The life of a believer –in- Christ must be controlled by the Holy Spirit, says the scripture at Eph. 5:18 “…filled with the Spirit” and such a person will be lifted up and exalted- not by men, but by God.

Secondly, we see his SIMPLE LIFE STYLE  “  He was clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey” (Matt.3:4). To make it more simple, his was a life not confirming to this world (Rom.12:2) a separated and disciplined life – in quite contract with the present world rule, “ While in Rome , be like Roman.” Perhaps that was why even Herod feared him, but respected, and even protected him although he had jailed him. Herod was fully convinced that John was just and holy (Mk: 6:20)

Thirdly, HE WAS FEARLESS IN HIS COMMITMENT FOR JUSTICE AND TRUTH. He was not ready to consider the grave sins committed by the rich, powerful and influential people lightly for which he had to pay the price with his life!  It was the same power and Spirit with which Prophet Elijah challenged and defeated the prophet of Bal on the mount Carmel. The Bible says John the Baptist possessed the same Spirit (LK, 1:17).  Like Apostle Paul, his aim in life was to please God, who “..never tried to please men, but God who tests our hearts”( 1 Thes 2:4)

Fourthly, HIS HUMILITY AND HUMBLENESS are the important reason was why John was

Considered great by God. He never wished the least to get honour or fame from the Jews of his time. When they mistook him to be the extra-human, he, in-fact, corrected them and revealed himself as “ the voice to prepare the way for the Lord”- ( John 1:19-23). Through his life, he humbled himself, and exalted God. This very attitude of lowliness enabled him to be reckoned as the greatest of all those born of women by Jesus too.

Let our aim in life be the same as that of John the Baptist “ He must increase, I must decrease.”(John 3:30) Bible says: “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk. 14:11)

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