How am I humbling myself as an obedient child of God and welcoming everyone as if I am welcoming Jesus Himself?
Do I want to be the greatest? The passages that we are looking at this week made me wonder this very question. In Matthew 18, Mark 9, Luke 9, and Luke 17; Jesus responds to the disciples’ question of “who is greater?”
The disciples are arguing with each other over who is greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. This was to such a degree as well that they tried to stop someone else from doing work in Jesus’ name simply because that person was not one of the “special” twelve. In other words, they weren’t part of the disciples’ clique. It’s at this point that we are taught an incredible lesson in humility. In teaching us this lesson, Jesus tells the disciples, and us that, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
Why were the disciples arguing about being the greatest? Why do we ask which church is better? Do we downplay other people’s roles in God’s kingdom? We all struggle with a sinful pride. Unless we change these things and become like little children we will never enter the kingdom of heaven. This is a heavy point but a very necessary one that God desires for us to be like a child. Young children don’t worry about anything other than being near their parent for food and protection. In the same way, how are we casting aside our prideful desires, traditions and practices in order to seek nothing but to be fed and protected by our heavenly father?
Children are to obey and submit themselves to their parents’ teaching and instructions. As God’s children, we are to humble ourselves and become like a little child in this way in order to learn from His teaching and instruction. Our sinful tendency is to always want to be the best and the greatest. Instead, we ought to be asking ourselves: how am I humbling myself as an obedient child of God and welcoming everyone as if I am welcoming Jesus Himself?
Part of the challenge of these passages is that it’s not just about being in a lowly position or not, It’s about our heart. A humble heart will not seek to be recognized as either a child or a great person but by saying “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10)
May I be a person that is not concerned about being best or being part of the best church but instead have a heart that says ‘Lord, I have only done my duty.’