Day 301: Matthew 18:1-10
Our youngest daughter will often try to put me in a position that will make me accidentally say that she is my favorite child out of our four children. In complete honesty, I do not have a favorite. Each one of our children are so unique in their own ways. If they only could know how much I love them, I really think it would be more than they could bear.
In Matthew 18:1-10, I see the same kind of thing going on between the disciples. They basically corner Jesus, and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” I believe their hopes was that Jesus would say that they were the greatest…and possible even put them in order. But, of course, Jesus doesn’t do that and does the totally unexpected. He takes a child and puts the child in the middle of them, and says, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” That is bothersome to me, because I am getting up in years and far from being thought of as a child.
Jesus then goes on to say that we are not to put stumbling blocks before any of these little ones. In fact, he says, “It would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (v. 6). A millstone was a large circular stone used to crush grain into flour. In other words, if we keep someone who is new in the faith of Jesus Christ from growing in their faith or coming to Jesus in a time of need, we may as well, put an anchor around our neck and drown.
So, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Honestly, we only have a chance of entering the kingdom of heaven, if we are to own up to our sin and the mistakes we have made in our lives. In this Advent season, John the Baptist comes to us and preaches, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is Near!” The Kingdom of Heaven is right in front of us – ready or not…It is here!
We are children of God and because of Jesus Christ, we have a gift of grace that saves us and gives us a hope of our eternal life – A LIFE in the Kingdom of Heaven!