Matthew 18:1-6: Bible Lessons for Study
This lesson covers the area of coveting and the want for power.
Some of Christ’s followers wanted to know who the greatest disciple was.
This translated to who would sit next to the throne.
The 12 disciples were not above this as they all wanted to be first in heaven, which makes them, in many ways, not so much different from us.
Their thinking was in earthly terms. A nation has a king; then the second in command; and so on.
But Jesus had a different perspective about how we should think about heaven.
He says: “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3 NASB
A Higher Place in Heaven – Who’s the Greatest of the 12 Disciples?
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
And He called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. – Matthew 18:1-6 NASB
What About the Best Church?
Not very long ago there were up to 13 churches in my small SC town without pastors.
Church divisions seem to run rampant nowadays and there is no immediate end in sight to having differences of opinions so strong as to tear the congregations apart.
People are leaving to join other churches, only to find many of the same situations in their new church homes.
Disagreement Among Believers
First of all, I do not proclaim to be an expert on church welfare, nor do I believe I have some secret insight no one else knows.
But, I do see many of the challenges that face the church ( meaning Christian fellowship ) as having to do with power and authority issues.
Many times, there is a small number of people, or maybe a family, who wants to make all the major decisions for reasons unknown.
They might present some pet program in which they of course, will be put in charge.
There is nothing wrong in introducing new ideas. But, the process can become so much of a power play between rivals that it is almost political in nature.
The Disciple Trap
The disciples fell into the same trap of getting so “busy” with running the operation of “The Way”, and competing for a higher place in heaven that they forgot why they were chosen in the first place.
A Humble Child is Our Mentor
Jesus brought it all back into perspective when He used a little child as the example of how people should follow Him.
He didn’t mean for the disciples to act like children, but He did want them to accept and have faith in Him, like a child.
Children are not caught up in “majoring in the minors” so to speak.
Things like the color of the sanctuary, or which member we will gossip about this week never enters their minds.
They only know that Jesus loves them and forgives them when they stray.
Pure of Heart
Coming to Christ with an open heart — without the greed or competition that comes with authority is still the best example of discipleship.
It’s so easy to get so caught up in the daily operations of a church, along with its committees, planning for the future, and starting new programs that we can sometimes forget why we come to church in the first place.
The Reason for Church
Lest we forget, we come to worship God, and to fellowship with each other.
Without these two ingredients nothing else matters. Without them we become like the disciples asking who’s the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Prayer Can Help
[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”0849942136″ locale=”US” src=”http://www.makingchristknown.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/41yxWaj3k2BL.SL160.jpg” tag=”bobpardphot-20″ width=”104″]The good news is, if we ask, God will help us to overcome petty differences.
He will forgive us for participating in them. He will help us to come together to work for the greatest one of all, which is our Lord – if we only ask.
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to look at John 3:16 and find out how.