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30th May 2023


Who is the Greatest?

Who is the greatest? is a question we as humans often ask.  We are fascinated by greatness!
We like to think who is the greatest at different things – sports, acting, singers, musicians etc. etc.
We have even invented a phrase – GOAT – Greatest of All Time.
This too was a question Jesus’ disciples were grappling with.
Which of them was the greatest in the Kingdom of God.  This will be our theme for the week.


At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said,
“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. Matthew 18:1-5


The disciples asked Jesus this question a few times. This one follows closely after Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-3).
Peter, James & John had been favoured by being there. These 3 formed part of Jesus’ inner circle.
In addition, Peter often seems to get singled out (Matthew 14,15:15, 1616-18).
On one notable occasion even one of the mothers got involved (Matthew 20:20-27).
Petty jealousies, selfish ambitions & jostling for position seems to have been commonplace!!
We must be careful not to allow these things to distract us in our discipleship.

Jesus uses a little child to illustrate what greatness is in the Kingdom of God.
It is not about status or position but rather humility, dependency & total trust in God..
This comes on the back of honouring the Lord above all else.
How blessed are the humble in the Kingdom of God.
We will explore this further next time.

The disciples’ constant struggle was to understand that there is no competition, cloning or comparison in the Kingdom of God.
We must always be content to just be who God intended me & you to be. Be the best version of yourself you can be.
Even the least in the Kingdom will be greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).
John was the last & greatest Old Testament prophet & the forerunner of Jesus the Messiah.
If being least in the kingdom is greater than that then that seems good to me!!

For Reflection

  • In what ways am I tempted to compete & compare myself with other Christians?
  • Am I content to be the best version of me in my service for the Lord?
  • Meditate upon what it takes to be great in the Kingdom of God.

A song related to this theme:


Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your great love for me,
That You are always & ever patient, gracious & merciful in Your dealings with me.
Jesus thank you that demonstrate humility & total trust & dependence upon the Father,
Help me to keep walking in your loving & sacrificial ways.
Holy Spirit search me & know my heart, keep me from selfish ways & earthly ambitions,
Keep me faithfully serving the Lord & others as only I can.
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.
Amen

Written by Gareth Jones

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