Sunday, December 10, 2023

Who is the Greatest? (Part 2)

By Clifton Angel
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me (Matt 18:5).
With a physical child in His arms as a living illustration, Jesus was no longer speaking of children. “One such little child” is “whosoever...shall humble himself as this little child” (18:4). It is this humble, subservient child of God that characterizes the “greatest” among God’s spiritual kingdom.
    Physical greatness is measured far differently than spiritual greatness. Jesus continually seeks to emphasize to the world that physical greatness means nothing in the grand scheme of life.
Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth (Luke 12:15).
Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matt 20:25–28).
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth (Col 3:1–2).
    The religious leaders of Jesus’ day looks down upon the lowly and lost and considered them unworthy. Yet, these are they that are so often converted and become “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
    Before being run out of Galilee with death threats, Jesus read aloud prophecy of Himself in the Isaiah scroll:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18).
    Are we willing and ready to receive the same? Jesus’ word for “receive” in Matthew 18:5 carries with it the idea of hospitality and approval. How receptive are we of the lowly and lost? Will we preach the gospel to the poor, or only associate with the wealthy? Will we seek to heal the brokenhearted, or only approve of the merry? Will we preach deliverance to the captives, or only fellowship with the free? Will we receive them to sing with us, “I once was lost, but now I’m found; Was blind, but now I see”?

- Clifton Angel preaches for the Coldwater Church of Christ in Coldwater, MS. He may be contacted through that congregation's website:

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