At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" - [Matthew 18:1, ESV]
I'm convinced that this question still rings true from the heart of Christ's disciples today (including myself) because so often we want to know that we are important and valued - that we truly are treasured and adored, because we struggle with accepting this truth. However, this question also stems from our love for power, of being in control of life. As I read this verse this thought came to my mind: "If this question is in my heart, then MY kingdom is at the forefront of my mind." As long as I am asking who is the greatest, I am not worshipping the One who truly is the greatest.
Jesus' response to their question: this little kid. He then says, "...unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 18:4, ESV). A child understands his role in the family - he/she is the kid. Their job: to play. They are not consumed with competition (watch 3-year-old basketball games and you'll will see that competition really isn't driving them). They are merely living, trusting that those who are over them can do anything.
As a Christian, I am to know my place. I am a child of God and my Father in heaven is the greatest. But Jesus does say that those who humble themselves like a little child are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. How can this be? I wonder if it's because when I take on a life of humility it is then that my character resembles the character of Jesus—the highest and the greatest. If I am driven to be the greatest it is then that I am no longer interested in God's kingdom but rather my own.
Jesus - Please help me become less "grown-up" and more childlike in my walk with you.