Who is the Greatest?
In response to the question asked by His disciples about “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew18:1), Jesus juxtaposes the contrast seen in human nature between greatness and service in his discourse about children and the kingdom. He
taught His disciples to be humble and forgiving. Yet soon after this teaching these same men tried to forbid the approach of little children to Jesus, a rich man refuses to serve others and follow the Lord, and Peter asks what the faithful will receive (to which Jesus tells the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, teaching that all receive the same reward). Then the mother of James and John come to Jesus with her sons and asks a prominent place for them with Jesus in the kingdom. When the others hear it they are filled with outrage, jealousy, and resentment. So Jesus pulls them aside and tells them that to be great in the kingdom they must humble themselves and serve each other.
We live in an age of obscene pride, jealousy, and covetousness. Churches are divided, marriages broken, and nations warring and degenerating all due to the sin of selfishness. Do we want to be considered great in the kingdom? Or do we just want to be seen as great among the world? If the latter you already have your reward. But if the former, the greatest reward awaits you! Serve God, serve others, and ask yourself, “Am I greater than the Lord?” (Matthew 20:28).