Our series Questions People Asked Jesus continues Sunday in our Sanctuary worship at 9:30 and 11:00 with a question from Jesus’ disciples. It was straightforward about the realm of God or the reign of God. Matthew, reluctant to utter the word God because of the holiness of the word, prefers to call it the realm of heaven or the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven is wherever and whenever the will of God is done. We pray it every Sunday:
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
Now, this isn’t a question we would ask today, which makes it different than most of the other questions like, What must I do to inherit eternal life? or How many times must I forgive? If I were to ask you to list your concerns and questions, I can’t imagine that you would have any concern at all about some kind of ranking in the kingdom of God. So, does the question have anything to do with us and our experience? I believe it does. I also believe that Jesus’ answer has even more to do with us than the question. Jesus responded by calling a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “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. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
So, here is what I ask you to think about between now and Sunday:
If the disciples’ question of ranking in the kingdom of heaven isn’t my question, what is?
Am I concerned with how I rank with God compared to others?
What does Jesus’ answer mean for me and my life today?
I look forward to seeing you Sunday as we consider this together and as we celebrate our mothers and those who are like mothers to us.
Grace and Peace.