Greatness in the Kingdom
Scripture Reading — Matthew 18:1-5
“Whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
—Matthew 18:4 —
It should not surprise us that the disciples approached Jesus with a question about greatness. People in many cultures around the globe have the same obsession today.
To answer their question, Jesus called a little child to stand in their midst. And he underscored his point with “Truly I tell you …” (a “Listen up!” expression). Then he explained that they needed to change and become like children—not childish, of course, but recognizing that they need God’s care and provision constantly. To be childlike is to be trusting, truthful, and teachable. And unless they became that way, they wouldn’t even be part of God’s kingdom. Kingdom life is about service and humility. No one has a reason to think they are greater than another.
Childlike, kingdom members accept God’s love, and, knowing the joy of being loved, concentrate on being loving. Trusting in God’s love, they also know God is working all things for good (Romans 8:28).
Like a child, a truthful person needs no pretentiousness. It’s all a matter of being humble and honest, admitting that we can be weak and sinful and need God’s help always.
Finally, humility means being teachable. Children are curious; they want to learn. Similarly, there is no end of learning about faithful discipleship.
Dear, patient Jesus: thank you for teaching us about fol-lowing you as members of your kingdom. Help us to be trusting, truthful, and teachable. Amen!