In light of Matthew 11:11, who is the greater human creature, Mary or John the Baptist?


Full Question

Protestants point to Matthew 11:11, where Jesus claims that John the Baptist is the greatest born of woman. Yet we consider Mary to be the greatest human creature as Theotokos. How do we reconcile these arguments?

Answer

Obviously a literal, uninformed reading of this verse can be problematic. Jesus must have had a specific context in mind when he made that statement. The context comes into focus when we consider the preceding verses, where Jesus asked, "Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?" and then answered, "Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet" (Matt. 11:9).

Clearly Jesus was proclaiming John the Baptist to be the greatest of all the prophets, indeed even something greater than a prophet, i.e. the Precursor.


Jim Blackburn