Monday, 23rd January, 2017
Theme: WHO IS THE GREATEST?
Text: Matthew 18:1-5
EMHB 148 – We saw Thee not when Thou didst come
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 2:2 “As new-born babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.”
Our Lord so much regards the theme of this passage that it may rightly be called a “Manual for Discipleship.” This is because the Christian community is centred on Jesus, who is confessed to be “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:16). He is our Teacher and, while His teaching fulfilled the Old Testament (Matt. 5:17), it centres primarily on His own life and words.
Unfortunately, the prevalence of titles such as “Bishop”, “Archbishop” and “Apostle” as that of holding power in society, counters the mind of Christ. This attraction of status is easy to understand. In many situations, it goes hand-in-hand with respect and opportunities. These were the reasons why the disciples argued about who was the greatest (Matt. 18:1, Mark 9:34). But what are the qualities of greatness and leadership within the community of Jesus?
Leaders must have Christian characteristics such as innocence, be God-fearing, truthfulness, love for justice and ability to forgive, obedience to the law, being strong and courageous, humility and fearlessness. However, the most significant quality of the child in this story is that he had no status, no self importance except the responsibility to care for others. This is to renounce any notion of self-importance and to embrace insignificance. This is true humility (Phil. 2:6-11), the prime characteristic of all who follow Jesus. Powerlessness is a good quality in the upside down Kingdom of heaven. To be a citizen of heaven means abandoning one’s right and living to serve, not to gain power (Mark 10:15; Matt. 18:3).
PRAYER: Thou who didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly Kingdom in heaven to live like an ordinary human being here on earth, come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Create a room in my heart for Thee. Amen.