The disciples had to be shocked how Jesus responded to their question in Matthew 18:1, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? I am sure they were betting that Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Elijah, or David would be considered the GOAT (greatest- of-all-time) by Jesus. Boy, did Jesus throw them a curve ball with His answer in verses 18:2-4, “And He called a child to Himself and set him among them, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 So whoever will humble himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. Jesus said the greatest is the person “who humbles himself/herself like a child.” The foremost characteristic in His kingdom is childlike humility.
Thinking through past comments from Jesus, we should have realized that the GOAT in the Kingdom would be full of humility. Only one time did Jesus describe Himself. This description is found in Matthew 11:28-29, 28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Anyone who lives in His presence and treasures a relationship with Him will be humble in heart,
Peter concludes his first biblical book with a forceful discussion in 5:5-7, “all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God is opposed to the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, 7 having cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares about you.” Peter stated that if you want to be in the heartbeat of Jesus, “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time.” Then, Peter tells us how we humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.”. We turn the control of our lives over to Him completely by “cast(ing) all your anxiety on Him.” Get off the throne of your life and surrender “under the mighty hand of God”. Surrender never originates from pride; instead, it comes from humility where the power in Christ’s kingdom resides.
Matthew goes on quoting Jesus in chapter 18:5-6, “And whoever receives one such child in My name, receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Whoever tenderly “receives one such child in My name, receives Me.” Let me ask you a question, how are you treating your own children? You might be considered a hotshot in the world’s view and your name may have prestige in “important circles”, but, if you are not receiving your own children as a precious treasure and “loving on” them daily, your glory will be fleeting. Watch what you say and how you say it to your kids. Folks who humble themselves giving time and love to their precious kids are big names in the opinion of Jesus. You say, “But my kids are total brats.” I wonder why? Have you received them?
Have childlike faith and live pure like little kids. Humbly cast all your cares on God, totally and unreservedly putting your trust in Him. Take care of your children. Don’t belittle the little and you will be considered great in His Kingdom.