At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’” (Matthew 18:1)
If you ever go into a job interview, headhunters and personnel experts will tell you there is one question you will always be asked and you had better be prepared to answer correctly. The question is this: “How do you measure success?”
On one occasion, the disciples asked Jesus this same question, but His answer was completely unexpected.
We read about this conversation in the gospel of Matthew. Scripture says, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’” (Matthew 18:1).
The disciples thought the ultimate success would be to be chosen as the greatest in the kingdom. In fact, two of the disciples even asked if they could sit on either side of Jesus in the kingdom. On one hand it’s easy to point a finger at the disciples and accuse them of asking such an arrogant question. But if we really think about it, we, too, are often looking for glory, recognition, and status in the kingdom of God.
Once they asked their question, the disciples were waiting with bated breath, but Jesus, as He would often do, responded to them in a totally unexpected way. He bypassed their question, and he did this, “He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them” (Matthew 18:2).
He said to these twelve disciples, these battle-tested veterans who had been with him for three years and thought they had it all together, “If you want to catch up to me, you’ve got to first catch up to them.”
Jesus reminded the disciples then and us know that we should have the posture and the humility of a child. That instead of wanting status or wanting others to think we have it all together, we should run to the Father. We should be completely dependent on Him. And we should be humble in knowing that it’s ultimately not about us. It’s about Jesus.
Dear Lord, even though it’s so easy to try to elevate myself to a position that’s not mine to hold in your kingdom, I want to be humble like a child. So God, I’m asking you to give me the heart of a child and the spirit-posture of a child so that I might serve you and run to you from a place of humility. In Jesus’ name, amen.