He that is but little (o mikrotero). The Authorized Version here has it better, "he that is least." The article with the comparative is a growing idiom in the vernacular Koin for the superlative as in the modern Greek it is the only idiom for the superlative (Robertson, Grammar of the Greek N.T., p. 668). The papyri and inscriptions show the same construction. The paradox of Jesus has puzzled many. He surely means that John is greater (meizwn) than all others in character, but that the least in the kingdom of heaven surpasses him in privilege. John is the end of one age, "until John" ( Malachi 11:14 ), and the beginning of the new era. All those that come after John stand upon his shoulders. John is the mountain peak between the old and the new.