Who is the greatest?

Today’s reflection is based on Matthew 18:1-5:

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,

3 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.

4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

In the Mark and Luke versions of this same story it is said that there was a quarrel among the disciples, they argued over who was to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. To clear up this doubt, Jesus takes a child to illustrate them and tells them that anyone who humbles himself as a child will be the greatest.

And said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Luke 9:48

I am very interested in the last part of verse 48 of Luke 9: For he who is least among you all will be great. Anyone in his human mind would think that to achieve a good position in the kingdom of God must reach a certain level here on earth, humanly speaking. But Jesus teaches us the opposite. Jesus tells us that to be great there, we must be small here. Moreover, He teaches us that if we are not so, we will not even enter the kingdom of heaven (Mt 18: 3). Anyone who humbles himself as a child will be greater in the kingdom of heaven (Mt 18: 4).

Many believers believe themselves the great thing because they have reached a certain stature before men and they forget Matthew 23:12 that says that he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Beloved brother reading this article, never forget that the smaller we are, the bigger we will be there. Let us not allow anything to feed our ego and do not believe ourselves the great thing. Let us remain humble serving all our brethren in the love of the Lord.

A Morning Prayer of Trust in God
Are you thankful for Jesus? The story of the ten lepers

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3 comments on “Who is the greatest?

  1. Who is the greatest?
    I wonder: Be “the greatest”? For what reason could we want to become the greatest? To govern others, to exert dominion over brethren, over all creature.

    But—someone could answer—the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven is God.
    And yet, the Lord Jesus Christ came to serve others, to humble himself for others, to sacrifice himself for others. Jesus is the Master. It’s not fit for the disciple to be greater than his Master.

    So my answer is: no, I think Jesus tries to teach them, also to teach us, that the goal in our lives is not to feel greater among people but to feel humble among them and serve them.

    God’s people, like other people on this earth, need a chief who leads them. They need some people who have received gifts to manage or to exert control over the nations, over the Church here in the earth, but always in submission to the Word of God, according to His Will.

    No doubt, it’s not God’s will for anyone to take advantage of their position in the Church, or to get a better treatment than other members in it. Each member has his place there amb must serve others, as a part of the body of Christ, who is the Head. We must serve others with love, not seeking our own benefit.
    Another thing is that we must respect and esteem brothers who are elders or Pastors, who lead in the Church’s government, especially teaching God’s Word. We must love them for their work’s sake. The Word tells us what follows, referring to those who minister:
    “And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves”
    (1 Thessalonians 5:13)

    So we must receive and respect with love those who work among us, those who behave in their conduct like little children, who humble themselves, in singleness of heart, as they are supposed to be.

    And Jesus said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”
    Luke 9:48

    Therefore, when we meet men or women who—with sincerity and a character or behaviour that is moulded by God’s fear, as they do good, serve others and lead them— we will receive them in the name of Jesus, because He said it is He whom we actually receive.
    So let’s do that, brethren, and we’ll also be receiving the Father for Jesus’ sake. The Lord Jesus said:
    “For he who is least among you all will be great”

    That means, according with Scripture, that those who are and feel least are considered great by God in the kingdom of heaven. And so they are made into the image of his Son, who is perfect because he is God Himself, meek and lowly in heart.

    We ought not to want to be great in the kingdom of God but least, as Christ is, desiring to be counted worthy of serving his people through our Lord Jesus Christ.
    May he receive glory and adoration. The Lord God be praised forever

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