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31st May 2023

Who is the Greatest

Who is the greatest? is a question we seem obsessed with in this day & age.
Many claim, or readily accept the accolades of others, to be the greatest in their particular field.
This too was a question Jesus’ disciples were grappling with.
Jesus totally redefined their thinking about greatness & being the greatest.
We will focus in on how He did that today.

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

Through an acted-out parable Jesus outlined that humility & honouring God are the key to greatness in the kingdom of God.
He used a child to dramatically illustrate the point. At that time children had no social status or rights & were given little value.
They were amongst the lowest & the least in that society. Powerless, positionless & totally dependent on it’s parents.
A child (toddler is suggested in the language used) however readily demonstrates childlike trust.
Note how the child came when Jesus called & stayed where Jesus positioned them. SELAH
We must fully & always depend upon our Heavenly Father. Honouring Him above all else.
We must become God’s children through conversion to the kingdom through faith in Christ.
Alongside this we must also be humble & willing to change (convert) our attitudes & actions to kingdom ways.
These traits lead to kingdom greatness. They are so different from the (grabbing & getting) ways of the world.

Humble people are not self-conscious & do not claim their rights from others.
Humility is a constant challenge for us for it flies in the face of the ways of this world.
Humility in action & humility of mind are required. Behaviour falls in line with & follows our beliefs.
Jesus Himself modelled humility, in attitude & action, par excellence (Philippians 2:5-11).
He was content & willing to take the lowest place (John 13:1-17) & least desired tasks.
With the disciples’ response, particularly Peter, we can see that they were still grappling with being humble!!

Humility is to be the first & distinctive mark of Christians – our hallmark if you like.
That is because it is true of Christ our Lord & Master (Philippians 2 2:7-8). As for the Teacher so for the followers.
Will we come when Jesus calls & will we stay where Jesus wants us?
That is kingdom humility. To honour the will of our Lord & Saviour. At all time & in all the ways He asks.

For Reflection

  • In what ways am I humble in my attitudes & actions?
  • Am I honouring the Lord in all my ways?
  • Meditate upon humility & honouring the Lord.

A song related to this theme:


Heavenly Father,
Thank you that Your Kingdom is for me &for this world,
That its ways are so radically different to the ways of this fallen world.
Jesus thank you that modelled humility in all your ways,
You gave up everything so that I could lay hold of everything through You.
Holy Spirit ‘convert’ my attitudes & actions, each & every day,
Keep me faithfully honouring the Father & humbly following the ways of Jesus my Lord..
This I ask In Jesus mighty Name.

Written by Gareth Jones

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