“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
- Matthew 18:1
There are three types of people in the world— those who are great in their own eyes, those who want to be great in the eyes of others, and those who are great in the eyes of King Jesus.
How does Jesus define greatness? ”At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:1-4).
Putting away childish things, I am afraid many of us set our child-like humility out by the curb years ago. We've forgotten what child-like humility looks like.
We've forgotten what it is like to embrace our smallness. Feeling shame and guilt, we are no longer willing to express dependence on others— as Kira Bridges says, “children never question their smallness;” adults, on the other hand, run from it.
We've forgotten how to love and forgive unconditionally. A child's memory is astonishingly short; berated one minute, loving unconditionally the next, a child is quick to forgive and forget the grievances of others.
We've forgotten what it is like to consider others as more important than ourselves. The admiration a child has for his parents, for his older siblings, for the things great and small of this world is the essence of humility.
What is a child-like faith? Smallness. Unconditional love and forgiveness. Admiration for those around you.
When you consider God, do you feel small? When others sin against you, are you quick to forgive them like your heavenly Father is quick to forgive you? Do you admire God and love King Jesus above everything else? If you can answer yes to these questions, you are great in the Kingdom of God.