Can you believe I finally got into
Matthew Chapter 18?
Chapter 17 was so
I had no idea
I was going to actually see
Jesus’s transfiguration on the Mount!
The breaking of dawn
was absolutely stunning!
I just love the Morning Star!
It’s so hard to believe
that 8 poetic sermons
came from just 27 verses.
I look forward to digesting 35 more.
I guess I’ll start Chapter 18
by eating the first five.
“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.”
First, it’s important to understand
the disciples question came right after
they witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus
and experienced how the casting out of a demon
was impossible for them.
If they had any doubts Jesus was the Messiah,
the actual beloved Son of God,
then those doubts were now
It’s interesting to me,
in a frustrating kind of way,
that the disciples next question
was focused on political position
and hierarchical power
in the kingdom of Heaven.
I mean isn’t it amazing
how selfishly humans respond,
even when we think
we are giving God out best?
Humans tend to focus on
hierarchy, rank and order,
comparing themselves to each other,
rather than being equal as sisters and brothers,
and coming under the authority of God.
Even when we think
we are doing what is right,
by deciding who is just and who is not,
we are actually breaking the heart of God.
When Jesus’s students asked the question,
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?”
Jesus responded by showing them
the heart and humility of a little child.
My guess is,
Jesus wanted them to understand
that they should let go of the thoughts
and customs of this world,
because they are in direct opposition to God.
Rather than focusing on
gaining position and power,
humans should simply trust in Jesus
and serve others, thereby serving Him.
From what Jesus said and did,
we can assume in the Kingdom of Heaven,
positions of power are actually
positions of servanthood.
Not the other way around.
Rather than lord human power
over other people, or demand
“power to the people”
we are called to love God
and love our neighbors as ourselves.
This means even our enemies,
and people who are different from us,
deserve our respect and forgiveness.
A lawyer asked Jesus this,
"which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
“You shall love the Lord your God
with all your heart, with all your soul,
and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
On these two commandments
hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth”
Doesn’t it all make sense now?
“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in Heaven.”
It is the humble in spirit
who will be citizens in Heaven
And live upon the new earth as God's children.
God’s Word is not always easy to digest!
It often goes in like honey
and turns bitter as it goes down.
God’s Word is the perfect mirror for us!
It helps us know how off base we are.
Everything we know;
Everything we’ve been told -
Is an abomination to God!
The prince of this world tempts us
to focus on self.
And in the flesh,
we do not have the mind of Christ,
rather we have the mind of self-interest.
People get stuck on “Who is the best?”
Even the Church is notorious for this!
In fact, they can be the very worst.
I’ve seen posts from Christian businesses
who say things like
“No one does it quite like us!”
“We are the best!”
And I’ve seen Church Billboards
and signs that advertise,
“No one loves you like we do.”
Let me ask, is that actually true?
Does that one church
really believe they are that good?
Do they really believe they are better at love
than anyone else in any other church?
Where is the humility in any of this?
I’ve seen whole church doctrines
focus all their attention
on human hierarchy and position
rather than focusing on servanthood.
And I’ve seen so many Christians
get into vicious arguments
about what they believe to be justice.
I’m not saying I am any different.
I, too, trip over selfish ambition.
But I’m learning to submit myself
to the Lords correction.
And every time I digest God’s Word,
God shows me that He is good, and I am not.
“Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
says the Lord.
“For as the heavens
are higher than the earth,
So are My ways
higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Lord, please forgive us
and help us to walk in love
with the mind of Christ.
Help us to get rid of selfish thoughts
that focus on human hierarchy,
position and power,
and stupid comparisons
like "Who is the best?"