Thursday 31 August 2023

Matthew 18:1-14

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 11

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

His passage demonstrates the tension between the World’s thinking and values and God’s. The world would say to be Great we must be considered the best, the most in a field of expertise. But in God’s view to be considered great we must become the least, smallest, less noticed. I guess the question for me is how far am I prepared to go to do what God requires of me? I am sure we can think of heroes of Faith who gave up everything for Christ-Mother Theresa, Eric Liddell, Corrie Ten Boom, Billy Graham just to name a few. We can’t all be Mother Theresa, but we can all make choices to live humbly, be prepared to walk away from the security of safety in numbers, be aware that our behaviour impacts on those around us and take responsibility for that. Easy to say but much harder to do. We have to ‘be present’ in our Faith and not be an autopilot Christian. God holds each one of us as precious. Do you and I?

Heavenly Father, give me insight and wisdom so that I might truly love those around me and put others before myself. Help me be brave Lord to make the tough choices you require of me. Help me to hold Faithfully to the call you have placed on my life. In Jesus Name I pray. Amen

Written by Christine Knight

2 replies
  1. Claire Moore says:

    Stumbling in my faith or causing others to stumble- that is a confronting thought that my behaviour, lack of faith, autopilot worship etc could damage the faith of my brother or sister in Christ. Thank you for the call to be aware of this. And that things will come along which cause me to stumble- I need to be on alert and ready to cry out to God to rescue me and fight my way back to him. Thanks Christine


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