July 7, 2021
Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish (Matthew 18:10-14).
Again, Jesus likens the Christian to one of His ‘little ones’ because to enter into the Kingdom of God, one must come to Jesus as Lord and Savior in childlike faith. It matters not how mature a Christian becomes in faith during the course of his/her spiritual development, he/she is to maintain a humble spirit before the Lord and others; he/she is to bear the characteristics of an innocent child in terms of submission to the Lord, dependence upon Him, trust in Him, and love for Him.
(Matthew 18:4) Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Romans 8:16-17) The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
A person who is full of him/herself, who is captain of their own destiny, who is determined to call all the shots, is a person who seldom sees the need for Jesus Christ. Faith in someone else is not in their life’s plan. It is something they seldom see as necessary.
At issue here is the tendency of the Christian to want to be like the world in these respects. Peter had this tendency when he thought he could tell Jesus what He could and couldn’t do. James and John contended for the right-hand position of Jesus in His Kingdom. It can be a real struggle for the Christian to deal successfully with the desire of the flesh to elevate one’s self to a position of prominence, fame, and fortune.
The pages of Christian history are stained with those who ‘left their first love’ (Revelation 2:4) for the love of the world. Even today ministers and churches are tempted to embrace the world’s standard for success in terms of buildings, budgets, and bodies. In doing so, the humble ‘child of God’ gets overlooked, ignored, even left out in the cold if they cannot or will not contribute to the ‘success’ of the ‘Christian institutions’. Hence the warnings of Jesus about causing them to stumble (vv. 6-9) and despising them (v. 10). As Christians, we must always be on our guard to refrain from word or work that would dishonor the Lord by dishonoring His people.
“Holy Spirit, speak to me daily of the need to humble myself before You and to yield to Your discipline in my life so that I may not offend You or Your people by my attitudes and actions. To the glory and honor of Jesus Christ I ask, Amen.”