By Allen White
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Who is the greatest? This was a frequent concern among the disciples. After all, they were on the ground floor of this organization. The disciples were in the Top 12 wondering who was number one.
They weren’t after a $5 million prize on The X Factor. This was the Kingdom of God. The streets of Heaven were paved with $5 million prizes. But, who was the greatest?
Jesus called a child to Him. He didn’t call Peter, James or John, His inner circle. He told them bigger wasn’t better. Smaller was better. Weaker was better. Less significant was better. This was unlike any organization they had ever been a part of.
Children are innocent. They are naturally curious. They are prone to believe. Their world is filled with possibilities and creativity. The world around them has yet to inform them of what they can’t do.
The world’s system can’t function without a hierarchy. This is what the disciples understood. Somebody had to end up on top. Each of them probably thought, “And, it might as well be me.”
The thought of cooperating as equals is somewhat of a foreign concept to the human race. The role of leader makes an assumption of “better.” And, there’s usually a better office, a better salary, a better staff, a better everything else. In the body of Christ, roles are given according to God’s will. But, who we are shouldn’t be tied to the role we’ve been given.
In the Body of Christ, it doesn’t matter if your spiritual gifts and abilities are public or private, celebrated or unknown. In God’s family, we’re all equal. Our importance doesn’t come from a position. Our significance comes from our identity in Christ. Our value isn’t determined by how many people follow us. Our value comes from the fact that we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).
We can look at the twelve disciples and think about how foolish they were to jockey for position and outdo each other. Well, that is until we look at ourselves. The desire for power and control is a human desire, even in the church. Unfortunately, our need for power and control in God’s Kingdom often interferes with actually building God’s Kingdom.
Titles and roles are peripheral compared to the fact that we’ve been chosen and called by God (Ephesians 1:11-14). God has a plan for us. By the world’s standards that plan might seem lofty or lowly. In God’s view, the world’s standard doesn’t matter. He sees us as His children. God doesn’t play favorites.
When you think about how God uses you to help others, how does that make you feel about yourself? If you lost that particular opportunity to serve, would that change how you felt about yourself? Is it enough for you to be called a “child of God” or do you need another title to go along with it?
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