Ellen G. White Writings

<< Back Forward >>

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»

Conflict and Courage, Page 276

What Made Him Great? September 27

Matthew 11:7-15

Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:11.

What was it that made John the Baptist great? He closed his mind to the mass of tradition presented by the teachers of the Jewish nation, and opened it to the wisdom which comes from above.42Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 445.

John the Baptist was not fitted for his high calling as the forerunner of Christ by association with the great men of the nation in the schools of Jerusalem. He went out into the wilderness, where the customs and doctrines of men could not mold his mind, and where he could hold unobstructed communion with God.43Fundamentals of Christian Education, 123.

John the Baptist was a man filled with the Holy Ghost from his birth, and if there was anyone who could remain unaffected by the corrupting influences of the age in which he lived, it was surely he. Yet he did not venture to trust his strength; he separated himself from his friends and relatives, that his natural affections might not prove a snare to him. He would not place himself unnecessarily in the way of temptation nor where the luxuries or even the conveniences of life would lead him to indulge in ease or to gratify his appetite, and thus lessen his physical and mental strength....

He subjected himself to privation and solitude in the wilderness, where he could preserve the sacred sense of the majesty of God by studying His great book of nature.... It was an atmosphere calculated to perfect moral culture and to keep the fear of the Lord continually before him. John, the forerunner of Christ, did not expose himself to evil conversation and the corrupting influences of the world. He feared the effect upon his conscience, that sin might not appear to him so exceedingly sinful. He chose rather to have his home in the wilderness, where his senses would not be perverted by his surroundings. Should we not learn something from this example of one whom Christ honored and of whom He said: “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist”?44Testimonies for the Church 4:108, 109.

«Back «Prev. Pub. «Ch «Pg   Pg» Ch» Next Pub.» Forward»