Matthew 18: 1-5: At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Sometimes, like the disciples, we can be so juvenile. Older children like to brag about who’s the greatest. Who’s the best athlete in class. Who has the best GPA. Who’s the most popular. And while that discussion goes on, some hope their names will be mentioned, and others know that their names will NEVER be mentioned. Sad, isn’t it?
It’s sadder when we start to think that somehow one or other of us is going to be greater in the kingdom of heaven than the other. What would ever give me the right to think that I am more important than anyone else in the kingdom of God? Yet, even in Christian congregations, you hear people speak about one another and run each other down. When we do that, aren’t we really playing the “Who’s the most important” game? The Apostle Paul had the right attitude when he confessed that he was the “least among all the saints.” I don’t think he was just saying that. That’s what he felt and believed.
Jesus put the disciples in their place in another way. He set a small child among them and said, “Unless you become like a little child, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” A child doesn’t so much care about who’s the greatest, only that their parents love them. In the same way your status in your community or in your congregation shouldn’t be important in your mind. All that matters is to know that your Father loves you. And he does.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I know that my pride in myself and my accomplishments is a dangerous thing, because it makes me think I am something when I am not. I pray that I will always find my identity in you alone. If i am loved by you and if my sins are forgiven, that’s all that matters. Like Paul, let me be content to be the least among all the saints. Amen.