How Grownups Get It Wrong // M-Note 5.19.23

One day, Jesus’ disciples got into an argument over who among them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. It is a silly sounding debate and yet not unlike our world today. We still jockey for position, want to be seen as important, compare ourselves to other people, and imagine that there is some universal human ranking system that we want to score well on. We measure our relative importance in foolish ways – how much money we have, how many likes we get, how busy we are, how many square feet our house has, or how important our job seems to be. If you stop long enough to think about these things for more than a few minutes, you realize it is just as silly as the disciples arguing over who is greatest. They were just more explicit about it.
Jesus heard the disciples arguing and as is often the case, he didn’t address their stupidity directly. Instead, he invited a child to come into their midst. In the ancient near east, children weren’t fawned over the way they sometimes are today. There was little sentimentalism when it came to children. They were not really to be seen nor heard. In the perceived social ranking of the day, children were near the bottom. But, Jesus brings the child close, to a place of prominence and then says,
“I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18.3-4)
In two sentences, Jesus challenges the way we try to rank ourselves, calls into question what is really important, and gives us something to think about. What does it mean to become like a little child?
This weekend, we are continuing our series Faith Like a Child and this is exactly what we are talking about. Last week, I kicked off the series by talking about the danger of taking life for granted and our need to recover awe and wonder at the simple everyday miracles of life. You can check out or share the message here.
I bet there is someone you know that may need to hear these simple but important messages. I hope that you will invite them to join you this Sunday. Have a great weekend, and I will see you in worship.
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