by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Matthew 18:1-5]
A. When Jesus told the disciples that He would soon be killed in Jerusalem, the thought on their minds was which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom.
B. As much as He had tried to teach them about the nature of this kingdom, they were still struggling to understand.
I. The greatest in Christ’s kingdom would be like a little child.
A. The greatest would be the one who is weak and easy to overlook (vss. 6-11).
B. The greatest would be the one who is prone to wander (vss. 10-14).
C. The greatest would be the one most likely to offend someone and to need correction (vss. 15-17).
D. The greatest would be the one who needs the most forgiveness for his mistakes (vss. 21-35).
E. In this kingdom we ought to regard as most important the one who struggles the most (cf. Galatians 6:1-3).
II. In Christ’s kingdom, the first are last, and the last are first.
A. This is the lesson Jesus tried to teach James and John (Matthew 20:21-23).
B. This is the lesson of the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:8-16).
C. Jesus lived a life in which others always came first (Matthew 20:26-34)
A. If you are struggling in some way, you are important.
B. When we stop seeking honor and importance in the kingdom, ironically it is then that we begin to find them.