(By Michelle Snippe)
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1).
It was a question the disciples asked of Jesus, revealing their true hearts and desire for prominence. For me, their question begs another: “In whose eyes did they want to be great?” We can’t truly be the judge, but I have a feeling it wasn’t God’s eyes as much as it was in man’s that they sought their status of greatness.
Can we blame them, though?
Each one of us has a deep-seated desire to be noticed, to be known, and to be found “great” in the eyes of others. And when we find ourselves lacking the fulfillment of these needs, the associated emotions can be a springboard for insecurity. Left unchecked, these emotions and desires can propel us towards a dangerous, prideful pursuit of our own glory.
Just like the disciples, who perhaps were banking their greatness on how they could perform or maybe on their stellar abilities or accomplishments, we can fall prey to seeking our greatness via similar avenues.
But I love how Jesus, using the example of a young child, seeks to alter the disciples’ and our view from earthly greatness in an earthly kingdom to spiritual greatness in a spiritual kingdom. He didn’t do that by giving them a to-do list to help them elevate their status. He didn’t tell them to go convert more men, catch more fish, or perform a miracle or two. He told them that if they want to be great, they had to become like a little child. And what was it about the child he wanted His disciples and us to emulate?
Dependence and trust.
The pursuit of greatness in the kingdom scene is a good pursuit because it’s a pursuit for a deeper level of dependence and trust in God. Just like a child explicitly trusts his or her parents for their care, provision, and unconditional love, so we should fully trust our God for the same, and more! He is our good Father.
He is love. He is the provider of all our needs. He is faithful. He is dependable. He is entirely worthy of our trust.
God does not place much value, if any, on our greatness on this earth. But He does highly value our kingdom greatness—humble trust and dependence on Him.
So, go be great today, dear Christian! Not in the earthly kingdom but in the spiritual kingdom. Depend on God for all of your cares and needs today. And trust that He will do all He says He will do.