Tuesday 19 August, 2014

Matthew 18: 1-14

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus. They asked him, “Who is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child over to him. He had the child stand among them. 3 Jesus said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don’t, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Anyone who becomes as free of pride as this child is the most important in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 “But what if someone leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If he does, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned at the bottom of the sea. 7 “How terrible it will be for the world because of the things that lead people to sin! Things like that must come. But how terrible for those who cause them! 8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one hand or one foot than to go into hell with two hands and two feet. In hell the fire burns forever. 9 If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 10/11 “See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones. Here is what I tell you. Their angels in heaven can go at any time to see my Father who is in heaven. 12 “What do you think? Suppose a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. Won’t he leave the 99 sheep on the hills? Won’t he go and look for the one that wandered off? 13 What I’m about to tell you is true. If he finds that sheep, he is happier about the one than about the 99 that didn’t wander off. 14 It is the same with your Father in heaven. He does not want any of these little ones to be lost.

Jesus turns our thinking on its head again. The Kingdom of God is so different from this world. Becoming like children in belief, free of pride – uncomplicated – trusting – is most important in the Kingdom of God!

I’m sure Jesus’ response to the disciples threw them. It’s not position or title, wealth, success, family, maturity … many things come to mind other than simplicity in faith and trust. How am I going in the whole area of pride? Do I over complicate my believing and trusting God?

Father, this example of a child is a timely reminder to me with the things I am currently praying and trusting you in. It’s not complicated, you are there for me and so I trust you. Amen

Written by Suzie Hodgson

1 (reply)
  1. David Newton says:

    Adding to what you have said Suzie, this is an interesting example of when occasionally chapter breaks in the Bible can interfere with a greater understanding of the subject.
    .
    The chapter opens with “At this time”. What time was ‘this time’?
    .
    “This time” was the end of the previous chapter which had finished with Jesus miraculously paying his own and Peter’s taxes but not the other disciplines taxes. Without the chapter break it becomes obvious that this miracle solicited an angry response from the other disciples.
    .
    I wonder how many times we get upset because someone else gets their miracle but we don’t?

    Thanks Suzie

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