Who’s the Greatest?

Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
                   —Matthew 18:1

Jesus’ disciples jockeyed for prominent positions (Mk 9:33; 10:37, 41). “Who is the greatest in the kingdom?” they asked.

Jesus answered, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:4).

Commentators commonly cite humility, unselfishness, and trust as the childlike mood to be modeled. Get real! Humility and unselfishness don’t define the disposition of most children.

It is the position, not the disposition, of children that Jesus encourages. Children were considered unimportant in first-century Jewish society; so he was saying that to humble self like a child is to reverse insistence on being the greatest to acceptance of being the least.

It’s not an attitude that comes easily. But it is the attitude of the greatest in the kingdom.

If you are too big to be small,
you are too small to be big.

Scroll to Top