Who Is the Greatest?April 1, 2016 at 10:04 am | Posted in Matthew | 1 Comment
Tags: commentary on Matthew, humility, Jesus Christ, Matthew 18, Sunday School lessons on Matthew
In Matthew Chapter 17 three of the Lord’s disciples saw Jesus transfigured – His outward appearance transformed from within by the glory of His deity for a brief moment. They fell on their faces, trembling in fear at just a tiny glimpse of His glory. Therefore, in Chapter 18, we could expect their reaction to be, “Lord, Your majesty and splendor have overwhelmed us! What might we do to serve you better?” Right?
Wrong! Chapter 18 records their most pressing question:
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
The disciples wanted to know the same thing that a distressing number of Christians want to know today: “What’s in it for me?”
Jesus answered by summoning a small unspoiled child into their midst, and told them:
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Before the Lord imparts His glorious grace upon His human creations, He wants to see the quality of humility (James 4:10). Humility, it is sometimes said, is not thinking too much of oneself, or too little of oneself. However, a close inspection of Christ’s teaching here is that true humility is actually not thinking of oneself at all. Imagine the freedom and the inspired power that God can impart to His children when they no longer care how “great” they look to men, but instead begin to get zealous over how great God looks to men, and how much God can do to help the people they encounter on a daily basis.