At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:1-4) Our God is great. "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (Psalm 145:3). Since we were created to know our great God, we have a yearning to find true greatness. The counterfeit path to greatness for the world, the flesh, and the devil is through self-exaltation. "I will be like the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14). The heavenly path to find spiritual greatness is through childlike humility.
The disciples asked Jesus who had truly found greatness in His kingdom. "At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, 'Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?' " No doubt, to their amazement, he placed a little child in the middle of them. "And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them." How could this small child give insight into their query? Jesus' words must have been staggering for them to receive. "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
In the first place, no one can even enter into the Lord's kingdom without having a change of mind from the natural perspective of fallen humanity. We have such a self-sufficient, self-exalting viewpoint on life and how to find greatness. In order to become a child of God, we must be willing to adopt the Lord's perspective. Instead of us being capable of developing a valid ("great") life on our own, we must take the place of a humble, inadequate, needy child, looking to the Lord of life to give us eternal life. Then, in order to grow in spiritual greatness, we must be willing to continue in a daily walk of childlike humility. "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
This teaching had to fall like a stinging indictment upon their hearts, since their motivation in asking was based upon their repeated arguments over which of them was the greatest in His kingdom! "Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest . . . But there was also rivalry among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest" (Luke 9:46 and 22:24).
O, great and awesome Lord, I confess that I have often sought greatness through the self-exalting paths of this fallen world. Many times, I have compared myself to others, thinking that would make me the greater. Lord, I repent. Lord, I want to walk before You day by day as a humble, needy, dependent child of the great King of Kings, Amen.