Jesus Teaches about Humility

Matthew 18:1-6

Jesus’ disciples came to him to see if he would settle something they had been struggling with. They knew how important Jesus is: Jesus is the way to salvation.  He is supremely important to everyone.  But his disciples began to wonder and argue about who among the disciples was most important in Jesus’ kingdom.  

This question is not at all what Jesus wants his disciples to be concerned about.  It seems to be the natural way for people to start thinking of their own importance when they are a part of something great.  But this is not Jesus’ way.  

So Jesus called to a little child to come to the middle of the group as he talked with them.  Jesus told his disciples, 

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Suffer the Children by Carl Bloch

This teaching of Jesus helps us understand that if we do not humble ourselves, we cannot even enter His kingdom.  Without that humility, it is pointless to think about our importance in His kingdom because we won’t even be there.  And the truly humble do not think of their own importance anyway.  We are to serve others, not think ourselves above another.

At this time Jesus also teaches us how important it is to care for those who have humbled themselves and began to believe in Jesus.  Jesus told these disciples, “And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.”

So to receive Jesus, we need to receive his new believers who have humbled themselves and began in the way to follow him.

What do you think?

  • What were the disciples arguing about and why do you think they were arguing?
  • Why doesn’t Jesus want us to argue about or even think about our own importance in His kingdom?
  • What is it about a child that Jesus would like us all to be like?
  • In what ways can we become more like a child in how we believe and follow Christ?
  • How should we treat children?  How should we treat those who are children in Christ? Why?

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