Advancing the Conversation of Jesus
From the earliest times with the disciples who were following Jesus most closely, there was a discussion about positions in the Kingdom. In the 18th chapter of Matthew there was an interesting scene that begins with a question from the disciples: At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
The answer Jesus gives is set forth in four parts: FIRST-Jesus pulls in a child and declares that no one will enter the kingdom of heaven without becoming like a child. He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
SECOND-Then Jesus gets to the question of the disciples more directly and says that the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven has the humility of a child. Jesus says, “Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
THIRD-Jesus announces the blessing to those who receive one child such as this. Jesus says that by doing this they are receiving Jesus personally. He says, “And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.”
FOURTH-Jesus warns of the curse upon those who cause one of these little ones to stumble. Jesus says, “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
NOTE that there are basically two conditions to enter the Kingdom. “Unless you are converted” is the underlying theme here: 1. Converted means to have a change of mind-a change of mind toward Jesus. Conversion has the idea of total surrender-a total change of mind to be completely focused on Jesus. 2. Unless you become like children-humble, innocent, respectful and most of all, a teachable, tender heart, you cannot be converted in your heart and enter the Kingdom.
Later Jesus clarified this even more when he said: “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:10-12)
This brings us to SECRET #41: The follower of Jesus is a servant of all. Over the last few years we have discovered a way to remind us to be a servant to all. It’s a simple question. It is: “What can I do to help?” This question sets the mood toward servant hood with those you encounter, but most of all it sets up your mood and mode of action. It’s easy! “What can I do to help?” SECRET #41: The follower of Jesus is a servant of all.