You Can Be The Greatest

  • Matthew 18:1-5 You Can Be the Greatest
  • Muhammad Ali used to declare “I am the greatest” and was adored for it- Being the greatest in Christianity is a bit different than being a world championship boxer-
  • Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last.” Isn’t really the battle cry of a warrior
  • But Jesus doesn’t call us to be warriors in this scripture. He’s not calling his followers to take up arms and prove their loyalty by force and determination- quite the opposite- its through ‘becoming like a little child” that Jesus says you’ll be the greatest- Lets lean into it this morning.
  • How can you be the greatest?
  1. You can be the greatest by being converted
  • Jesus says- “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted”
  • This word here in the Greek means to twist- to turn to change directions-
  • Repent means to have a mind change- this word here is to have a direction change-
  • The way you have been going isn’t the right direction- you have to change the direction
  • Jesus uses this juxtaposition of becoming a child as the example of what they need to be converted to- Your direction change needs to be to that of a child from an adult
  • Benson– What I say is an undoubted and most important truth, a truth which you ought not only firmly to believe but seriously to lay to heart: except ye be converted — Turned from these worldly and carnal views and desires
  • Our kingdom will not be worldly, our inheritance will not be monetary, our influence will not be a monarchy, our future will not be what you think it to be- you will be like a child in
  • Barnes- The verb means to change or turn from one habit of life or set of opinions to another,
  • There is a new birth- and these disciples are to experience it as are we- but this instance is not speaking specifically of a ‘new birth’ experience right at this moment- it is that they need to change their minds about messiah- as savior how he will rescue and lead them.
  • Jesus says- You have to change- you cannot be the same-
  • What you thought about me before is not what I want you to think about now-
  • This idea of a conversion- a change- a difference in direction and thought is central to faith
  • Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
  • We, here today are not the first disciples- we are not walking through the understanding of who Jesus is and what he is doing- we know who he is, we know what he’s doing- we’re not processing it and trying to understand it. We know exactly who he is- Lord, king, savior.
  • But there’s a sermon in there for us as well- the application for us today in 2022.
  • In what areas of our life have we not be converted? Have we not changed our thinking, actions, desires or plans? Has our direction not changed since we met jesus, or did we ask him to come along?
  • Ep 4:22-24 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
  • We must ‘put on’ the new man! We must be converted from our old ways of thinking!
  • Converted is to change one thing to another- Converting garage. No longer garage
  • People want to be the greatest- but they want to stay the same- They want Jesus to come along side what they are doing- Not change the direction of their lives drastically
  • we constantly talk about this because the bible constantly talks about this.
  • When We came to faith, our thinking was drastically changed about who Jesus was- but not about everything else -We were born again, of the water and the spirit- but not our mind
  • Romans 8:9-10 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
  • So as we have been converted to Christ, we must be converted into Christ-
  • John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  • And that Born again is our spirit, soul and body- but everything about us must be changed and converted- what we desire, think, say, live and do. But how?
  1. You can be the greatest if you Become little children
  • Jesus says- we must take on The disposition of a child- Doesn’t sound like the greatest
  • He takes a child, puts it on his lap and says “be like this child” and that’s not to say that we are childish, or children. Or a bunch of crazy running disobedient kids who need a bath no.
  • Barnes- And become as little children – Children are, to a great extent, destitute of ambition, pride, and haughtiness They are characteristically humble and teachable. By requiring his disciples to be like them, he did not intend to express any opinion about the native moral character of children, but simply that in these respects they must become like them. They must lay aside their ambitious views and their pride, and be willing to occupy their proper station – a very lowly one.
  • Paul said it this way- 1 Corinthians 14:20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
  • When Jesus says that we are to become like Children- its not that we become unlearned or immature- not at all- but think about the best in children
  • Depending on the age- they usually without guile, easily convinced or influenced, natural followers, dependent on their parents for absolutely anything and everything.
  • I’ve often marveled at my kids- growing up, things would just magically appear- food, water, clothing, they never worried about anything- as well they shouldn’t have to- that’s how to do
  • Kids raised in lack and want typically have difficulty with things of God
  • Those that were reared well- come to God quite easily- they already have faith built in.
  • The Apostle peter said this- 1 Peter 2:2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,
  • And for us- this encouragement to ‘be babes’ should challenge us to think about the level of haughtiness and resistance we have to the things of God and what he is trying to do with us.
  • Jesus -Mark 10:15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”
  • My kids believed me and do believe me to this day- because they trust me-
  • For whatever reasons we are not as trustful with God- we are resistant- we adult with God
  • Kids- you can get them to do just about anything- very gullible- Get them to do what you want- they are your kids- “Come here I got something to show you” go get me whatever- they do it
  • When coming to God, do you come as a critically thinking adult, or as a simple child?
  • What things of God are you trying to talk yourself out of because you are holding on to your own ideas and plans and not submitting to God the father
  • Are humble? Are you teachable? People say “this is who I am” that might be true- but are you who your father wants you to be? Do you follow him and trust him? Do you believe him?
  • Children that are raised correctly want to honor their parents and live up to their expectations. That’s not a bad thing if they are good expectations. Be the greatest- be a child
  • Live up to what God the father has for you- come to him as a little child.
  • My Dad- one thing about my dad- he was a protector. He never backed down. “get my dad”
  • God wants to be your protector. He wants to be your go-to for your protection.
  1. You will by no means enter
  • Years ago we had the opportunity to go to the white house- You can’t go if you aren’t on a list with your SSN beforehand. Like 3 metal detectors, bomb sniffing dogs, explosive fan thing, took like 15 min to go through. It is, the only access to the white house. You aren’t getting in.
  • You have to figure out the access to the Kingdom. There is only one way in.
  • Ellicott- The force of the words as spoken to the Twelve can hardly be exaggerated. They were disputing about precedence in the kingdom, and in that very dispute they were showing that they were not truly in it.
  • Getting into the kingdom should be the number one priority for all of us.
  • It’s what Jesus talked about more than anything- must have been important to him
  • Matthew 7:14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
  • The gate to heaven is a narrow gate. The road to heaven is a narrow road.
  • Jesus gives us a hint here- if you are not converted. If you to do not become like a child. You’re not going to make it. – The greatest will become a child and enter the kingdom
  • You can’t do anything in and of ourselves to be able to earn heaven. None of it.
  • It doesn’t matter that I am a pastor, leading others to Christ, etc etc etc.
  • I must be converted and become like a child. I must fully rest on Christ and HIS power.
  • 2 Ti 1:9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
  • None of this is according to our works- which is a powerful powerful statement- we must rest in his power and his forgiveness. Walk in and accept it- live in it.
  • Job 25:4 How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?
  • At least four times in Job he asks “How can a man be made right before God”
  • And this is a very important question that was asked thousands of years ago
  • Being in a right relationship with God has always been a focus of the ancients and now
  • HOW? John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
  • And that born again experience is what God does- what we do is humble ourselves, be converted, be like children and realize that’s our entry into the kingdom
  • Because there is no other means by which one can enter. None.
  • Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
  1. The greatest receive the greatest
  • How we treat and receive those who are in Christ is being watched by God and important
  • Matthew 18:5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
  • This means- if you receive (accept approve) a converted child like disciple. You are receiving Christ. If you reject them- you are rejecting Christ
  • Now I need to say this- some people prove by their actions against other Christians that they are not any Christians of the sort. You cannot attempt to destroy other Christians, their reputation, their livelihood, be a gossiping slandering destructive person and live out this script.
  • People have made the whole of Christianity their own personal relationship with Jesus- which is true- but your relationship with Jesus is your relationship with his disciples.
  • Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
  • Often misquoted scripture- A US Senator used it to justify Ukraine war aid this week.
  • NO NO NO. The little children, the least of these, the prisoners, they are disciples of Jesus- quit using those scriptures out of context. Jesus focuses on his disciples and their relationships FIRST
  • John 13:20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
  • Mark 9:41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
  • Jesus is saying- show you are converted and like a child- show me by how you treat your fellow believers. Show me what your life and words are really about.
  • This is why it bothers me with how flippantly people can turn on someone in a church.
  • 1 John 3:14-15 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. 15 Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
  • If you have a list of people in this church you will not fellowship and talk with you need help.
  • We all have people we enjoy more than others- but everyone here in Christ is of Jesus.
  • John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  • We must love people- but its not the people on the outside- its on the inside. I’m not saying we shouldn’t love them- but the bulk of love scriptures are about us towards each other
  • 1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another,
  • Why? Because Jesus wants people to go to Heaven. He wants them to be converted and be like children that will receive him.
  • So how you treat your fellow Christians matter because its how you treat Jesus
  • Jesus says, become like Children to see the kingdom, and when you interact with these children you are interacting with me- It matters how you treat them
  • Listen- how you treat those of faith matters to God- he doesn’t take it lightly
  • Lets be the greatest- convert, be like children, enter the kingdom and love others

For more sermons please visit our SERMON PAGE

Please subscribe to our YOUTUBE PAGE

Share The Gospel - Save The World

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.