What Jesus Did! 'Striving for Greatness' — Matthew 18:1

Friday, August 18, 2017

At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
— Matthew 18:1
Illustration of Matthew 18:1 — At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

Key Thought

In our dreams as children, we are the greatest. In our professions, we entertain illusions of our greatness. Even when we approach what is greatness in the eyes of others, we know that we have not arrived and we dream of even greater things to do and greater heights to climb.
So surely, the desire of greatness can't be all bad! The lust for greatness is a great motivator. But Jesus said that greatness, like life and so many other things, cannot be obtained by seeking what we desire. Instead, greatness is given when we follow Jesus and choose to live as servants!

Today's Prayer

Almighty Father, give me the wisdom to value people by Jesus' standard of greatness and not the standard of those who do not know Christ and his sacrifice. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to come to him. Jesus stood the child before the followers. Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. You must change and become like little children {in your hearts}. If you don't do this, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The greatest (most important) person in the kingdom of heaven is the person that makes himself humble like this child. "If a person accepts a little child like this in my name, then that person accepts me. "If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the deep sea. I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. Those things must happen. But it will be very bad for the person that causes those things to happen. "If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two hands and two feet but be thrown into the fire (hell) that burns forever. If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye but have life forever. That is much better than to have two eyes but be thrown into the fire of hell. "Be careful. Don't think these little children are worth nothing. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven. "If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep becomes lost, then the man will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill. He will go to look for the lost sheep. Right? And if the man finds the lost sheep, the man is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I tell you the truth. In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want any of theselittle children to be lost.

Matthew 18:1-14

Related Scripture Readings

In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. Christ was equal with God. But Christ did not think that being equal with God was something that he must keep. He gave up his place with God and agreed to be like a servant. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused him to die. And he died on a cross. Christ obeyed God, so God raised Christ to the most important place. God made the name of Christ greater than every other name. God did this because he wants every person to bow for the name of Jesus. Every person in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth will bow. Every person will confess (say), "Jesus Christ is Lord (Master)." When they say this, it will bring glory to God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

The person that wants to save his life will lose it. And every person that gives his life for me will save it. It is worth nothing for a person to have the whole world, if he loses his soul. A person could never pay enough to buy back his soul.

Matthew 16:25-26

Trust the Lord completely! Don't depend on your own knowledge. Think about God in all that you do. Then he will help you.

Proverbs 3:5-6


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.