by Kenneth R. Jenkins
(Savannah, GA USA)

Matthew 18:1-5

Just for a little while, I want you think with me on this thought,” G.O.A.T: Greatest of All Time”.

When I hear the words, “Greatest of All Time”, I think of Muhammad Ali, when he was first Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. after beating Sonny Liston at Miami Beach back in 1964. That’s when Clay said that “he shook up the world, I know I’m the greatest...”

The writer Matthew observed a lot of things around him as he continues to talk about more and more about Jesus and His ministry.

In light of the fact that back in the 17th chapter verses 1-3 according to Matthew, Jesus was being transfigured right before those disciples He choose to be with Him while Jesus meets with both Moses and Elijah while Peter had the idea to build three tents for Jesus, Elijah and Moses.

Meanwhile in verses 14-20, Jesus heals a little boy with a demon in him just after the disciples couldn’t heal the boy with some difficulty. 2.

And then in verses 24-27, a tax collector questioned Peter if Jesus pays His taxes. That’s when Jesus quiets the critics that were around and told Simon to go to the sea taking a hook by catching the first fish by opening the fish’s mouth and that’s when he found money in the fish’s mouth in order to pay for temple tax.

This is where we are here when asked a very interesting question, proposed by His disciples. At the same time, in the parallel passages of Mark and Luke, this question arises out of an argument among the disciples.

This is it leads us to my three points of interest to take away from this message.

I.HAVING HUMILITY AND DEPENDENCE. Humility is a quality that must be cultivated therefore, a challenge because of the world we live in. However, the best way to become humble is to read and study God’s word. This when Jesus a called child out from the crowd and simply said to be as humble as this child. A child illustrates humility and dependence. For Jesus’ audience, a child represented someone completely reliant on others—perhaps even a burden. Children were without status in the ancient world and at the mercy of adults. Rev. Helen Young my esteem and fellow minister would quote from time to time, “If my people who are called by name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 Remember this dear friend, from what the writer of Proverbs tells us: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” Proverbs 16:18.

II.HAVING A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE. Become like young children. This describes a change in attitude. Jesus contrasts the disciples’ pride with the humility of children. Unlike children, who had no status or not having no hiding agender thus the disciples were expecting to be honored in God’s kingdom. We are all expected to be humble like children; it’s the Christian thing to do. One more thing, humility is no way a fast track to weakness it’s a sign of grace through Christ.

III.HUMILITY THAT LEADS TO GREATNESS. The disciples asked the question who is the greatest? This where Jesus takes this talk to another level. He is not saying that heaven is populated by little children. He means that a child's attitudes of easy dependence, trust, unpretentiousness, awareness of weakness, lack of knowledge, and submission to parents illustrate what we as converted adults must become toward God. Jesus is not saying every child is like His illustration; He is using one to illustrate an ideal. It is essential that we grasp that we must turn, change, to become like the ideal. To be the greatest or to be great in the sight of God, is to be like the child in the story and be humble so that God can use you.

The Word of God tells us in James 4:10 English Standard Version (ESV)” Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

So, if you want to know who’s the greatest in the Kingdom of God then look at a child. Be like a child like the one Jesus showed as an example, and if we show humility even in all that is going on and we too can experience the Kingdom of God.

Many people think of the kingdom of God as heaven or as the church. However, the kingdom of God is not an actual physical place. A working definition of God’s kingdom from a biblical perspective can be seen as God’s universal reign as Creator and Christ’s exhaustive work as Redeemer. Since God is eternal, His kingdom is eternal. The Kingdom of God transcends time and space.

Finally, being humble is not to be a floor mat, a push over but to be more of an instrument for God in order to live a life of humility like a child.

How about you? Will you come to Jesus by being humble? Jesus is the answer for the world today. Jesus is the solution to the problems we face every single day. If you need salvation, salvation is for you. AMEN

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