Who is the greatest?
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|New Testament||Mathew 18||Mathew 19||Mathew 20||Mathew 21||Mathew 22||Mathew 23||Mathew 24|
|Old Testament||1 Samual 26|
1 Chronicles 4
|1 Samual 27-28|
1 Chronicles 5
|1 Chronicles 6||1 Samual 29|
1 Chronicles 7
|1 Chronicles 8|
1 Samual 30
|1 Chronicles 9-10|
1 Samual 31
|2 Samual 1|
Who is the greatest?
This question was asked by Jesus’ disciples and is just as often asked by us today. We compare ourselves to other people and look at ministries and churches around the world. Each of us knows God’s call on our lives. We are looking for significance and desiring to hear a “well done” from God.
We start this week’s scriptures with Jesus speaking to his disciples about their need to reset their thinking. Like them we need to get that right focus in order to be the best we can be …
Matthew 18:3 starts the whole process “Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become …”. Strong’s Concordance helps us get behind these words
- Truly – “amēn” Jesus starts with a word which is usually translated as “truly, verily, surely” but is also the word we use to agree in prayer. Strong’s expands our understanding by telling us the word means; properly firm or figuratively trustworthy. What Jesus is saying to us is totally, emphatically and without doubt, the truth, now not just for the future.
- I tell you – “legō “ like the plastic bricks of the same name, this means to lay forth or build using words systematically or set discourse (discussion, sermon, treatment).
- Change – “strefō” meaning to convert, twist, turn around 180º, reverse
Verse 4 unpacks the reason for being like little children – status! Humble servants have no status to defend.
Throughout these next chapters we repeatedly see how to change and be different in our thinking when we are no longer focused on our status:
Matthew 18:6-9 Humble servants are willing to change every part of their life, even their bodies in order to stay right with God
Matthew 18:10-14 Humble servants consider everyone else to be valuable & ensure no one is missing
Matthew 18:15-17 Humble servants go the extra mile to help God’s people change their thinking
Matthew 18:18-20 Humble servants look to establish God’s will (binding and loosing) and look for agreement to get things done
Matthew 18:21-35 Humble servants forgive repeatedly, no matter the situation because they themselves have been forgiven
Matthew 19:3-10 Humble servants look to maintain their marriages because they recognise God put them together
Matthew 19:16-30 Humble servants don’t just look for that one thing to please their Master but recognise the need to leave everything to follow
Matthew 20:1-16 Humble servants are not focused on what rewards other servants get because they are focused on getting the Master’s will done
Matthew 20:2-28 Humble servants are not looking for position because they are like Jesus, the servants of all
Matthew 21:1-11 Humble servants come to bring peace not war (donkey is a symbol of peace)
Matthew 21:18-22 Humble servants do the same deeds as their Master because they are focused on the Master’s Word (promise)
Matthew 21:28-32 Humble servants do the tasks asked of them
Matthew 21:33-44 Humble servants produce the fruit asked of them
Matthew 22:1-14 Humble servants respond fully to their Master’s opportunities (invitations) and get properly ready
Matthew 22:15-22 Humble servants know who their boss is and give the right honour to every authority whether of God or Man.
We could continue the list but in Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus summarised the whole attitude “Love the Lord … and … love your neighbour”. That’s what humble servants do in every situation. That’s what makes them great in God’s sight.