Their ceiling is our floor -Luke 7 New Testament in a Year

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Standing on Shoulders by "heisnofool" on
Standing on Shoulders by “heisnofool” on

It’s a common expression “their ceiling is our floor” – we use it in Christian circles to talk about the fact that we stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. We want to press in and go past where the previous generation got to.

In Luke 7 John the Baptist, who is now in prison, sends some of his disciples to see if Jesus really is the Messiah. It’s understandable that he was struggling in prison – it had all gone horribly wrong. Jesus commends his ministry v28 “There is no one greater than John” – as he is the last and greatest of the Old Covenant Prophets, but he even the least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he. John’s ceiling is the floor of the least, most lowly Christian.

What was John’s ceiling?

  • He was filled with the Spirit from his mother’s womb – Lk 1:15
  • He was the fulfilment of prophecies by Isaiah and Malachi
  • He baptised Jesus
  • He brought hundreds to repentance
  • He didn’t weaken his message
  • He led a simple life unencumbered by worldliness
  • He was a man of courage, facing up to Herod
  • He prepared the way for Jesus to come
  • He promised that Jesus would baptise people in Holy Spirit.

How does that become our floor?

  • We know Christ better
  • John lived under the Old Covenant, we live under the New Covenant with its better sacrifice, hope, and promises – Heb 7:9; 8:6
  • We are born of the Spirit, baptised in the Spirit and are filled with power to be holy and to be witnesses
  • John spent his life in the desert, we have the fellowship of being part of the Church
  • John proclaimed the kingdom was coming – we have been translated into the kingdom of God’s Son – Col 1:13; cf. Rev 1:9; we have been made a royal priesthood and holy nation – 1 Pe 2:9

So even the least of us is greater than John the Baptist. John was diligent with what he was given – his ceiling. That is our floor, so the challenge is this “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” (Lk 12:48)

How will you live in the good of what the Lord has given you?
You a royal priesthood and a holy nation – so be holy and mediate Jesus to others.
You are a child of God – so live like a son not an orphan, knowing He loves you.
You can hear from God yourself with greater clarity in the Word and by the Spirit

Go for it!



Andy planted the Gateway Church in Sept 2007. He and Janet love to gather different nations together to grow in Christ while eating good food! He also helps to shape and serve a couple of Relational Mission's church plants in mainland Europe. Andy and Janet run regularly, largely to offset the hospitality eating! He also runs a popular WordPress plugin Church Admin