Luke 7:26-30

Luke 7:26 (KJB)
But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet.

The people had gone to see John whom they regarded as a prophet. (Mat 14:4-5 KJV) For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. {5} And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. As a prophet, John had the privilege of doing something no other prophet before him did. The prophets of old had prophesied and written about the coming Messiah but John was the only Old Testament Prophet who had the privilege of introducing the Messiah in person. The people might have thought John to be a failure because he was now in prison but the fact is, his ministry was now completed as He spoke the message God gave him to speak concerning the Messiah. Being a prophet of God did not necessarily mean that one had a long ministry. It varied by the plan of God.

Luke 7:27 (KJB)
This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

(Mal 3:1 KJV) Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:1 gives us another insight that Jesus is the Great “I Am” of Sinai and the author of the Scriptures. Notice what the first part of the verse states. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me:” Malachi states that the messenger will prepare the way before me. Jesus Himself is stating in Malachi that the messenger will prepare the way before Him. John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of the Messiah. John was in the physical presence of the people of Israel when He fulfilled the Scripture the Scripture of introducing the Messiah, making him “more than a prophet.”

Luke 7:28 (KJB)
For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

The reason that Jesus was stating that John the Baptist was greater than all that came before him was not based upon his moral character or anything like that but John had the privilege of having the ministry of introducing the Lord Jesus Christ, the prophesied One and the Messiah to the nation of Israel and to the world. The Messiah that Israel had prayed and hoped for had now come to Israel in fulfillment of many scriptures. Since it was still the time before the cross, John was on the Old Testament side of the cross, the old dispensation, and Jesus is stating that the humblest believer who has become saved will have experienced all the fruits of salvation including the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the finished work of Christ on the cross along with all the promises that come with it. Jesus was not saying that John was not saved but his ministry was on the Old Testament side of the cross and those that become saved are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus was making a comparison between the covenant of Law and the covenant of Grace which is much greater than law because it saves, whereas the law does not.

Luke 7:29 (KJB)
And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

All the people who came to John and heard him preach the message of repentance had glorified God by justifying Him. To justify God was to declare their full confidence in Him and His sending John to preach the baptism of repentance. These people heard the message and they were convicted in their souls of their sin. When one receives the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and becomes saved, this also justifies God as being the plan of God to save all the Elect. God is justified because everything He does always works to His glory and our benefit, even if we do not understand at the time.

Luke 7:30 (KJB)
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

Since the people had accepted John as a true prophet, the people were also being readied to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah. If John was a prophet, then everything he spoke was the truth of God. Once again the Pharisees and the lawyers had rejected the counsel of God. Notice, the counsel of God was against them. The counsel was that they needed to repent of their ways and confess their sins before God. As always they voided the counsel of God for their own traditions, thinking that they were already saved because they had the law, so they refused to be baptized by John. By refusing to be baptized by John, they were refusing the will of God for their lives which meant they were rejecting God.