“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.”
King James Version (KJV)
11:11 But he that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than he - Which an ancient author explains thus: - One perfect in the law, as John was, is inferior to one who is baptized into the death of Christ. For this is the kingdom of heaven, even to be buried with Christ, and to be raised up together with him. John was greater than all who had been then born of women, but he was cut off before the kingdom of heaven was given. [He seems to mean, that righteousness, peace, and joy, which constitute the present inward kingdom of heaven.] He was blameless as to that righteousness which is by the law; but he fell short of those who are perfected by the spirit of life which is in Christ. Whosoever, therefore, is least in the kingdom of heaven, by Christian regeneration, is greater than any who has attained only the righteousness of the law, because the law maketh nothing perfect. It may farther mean, the least true Christian believer has a more perfect knowledge of Jesus Christ, of his redemption and kingdom, than John the Baptist had, who died before the full manifestation of the Gospel.
Mt 11:11 Among them that are born of women. Among all of the human race that were before John the Baptist. The world thinks that kings, generals, and statesmen are the greatest of men. But God measures differently. Time, too, measures differently. Herod, now, would hardly be known at all if he had not imprisoned John the Baptist. He that is least in the kingdom of heaven. This shows, (1) That John was not in the kingdom of God. (2) That, as none greater than John has been born of women, no one had yet entered the kingdom. (3) That, therefore, it had not yet been set up, but as John himself, Jesus, and the Twelve under the first commission, preached, was "at hand" (Mt 3:2 4:17 10:7). (4) All in the kingdom, even the humblest, have a superior station to John, because they have superior privileges.