Who Is Greater?
June 23, 2021
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" (Matthew 18:1).
In a Republic, or a Monarchy, or Dictatorship, etc., people will fight for the top position of ruler (President, King, Dictator, etc.). All too often the one who obtains that position is not the right one to have such power and authority. History has taught us that. The fact is, humans are flawed. We are fallen creatures. We are sinful, which makes us ego-centric, disposed to corruption, and unjust in our dealings with others.
The Kingdom of God, however, is ruled by the Lord God Himself. He is holy. He is righteous. His wisdom is unsurpassed. His is just, but His justice is tempered by love, grace, and mercy. God cares about all people; there is no bias with Him. . . He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).
Today we as Christians are subject to two governing authorities - the rule of law in the Republic of the United States, and the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ who lives within every believer. As much as is within us, we are to live respecting both authorities (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-25). However, when the authority of the state requires the follower of Jesus Christ to reject the rule of the Lord in his/her life, to disobey those things the Lord requires of us, then the authority of the state takes a back seat to the authority of God (Acts 4:16-22; 5:28-29).
Because of the reign of Jesus Christ in our lives, we are to conduct ourselves as He did when living among us. His Holy Spirit gives us the where-with-all to love others, even our enemies; to treat others justly, even those who are of a different race, creed, color, social standing, economic standing, political persuasion, etc. Christians have one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We are citizens of His Kingdom first and foremost, so our ultimate allegiance is to Him and our highest honor is to exalt Him in our lives through our willing and faithful obedience to His Word and His will.
In the Christian church, which is the physical representation of the Kingdom of Christ on earth, there should never be such a question asked as was asked by the disciples in Matthew 18:1. No one person is greater in the Kingdom of our Lord than another. We are all called, saved, gifted, equipped, and commissioned to serve the Lord Jesus Christ according to His will and purpose. In this there is no ground for competition or comparison. The attitude of the servant of the Lord is one of humility and desire to serve. The Lord alone has the right to choose whom He will exalt in His Kingdom. . . to sit on My right and on My left, this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father (Matthew 20:23).
“Holy Spirit, continue to give me the desire and willingness to obey Your leadership is serving Jesus Christ, my Lord, and to seek no position of honor or authority above what You grant to me. To Your praise and glory I ask, Amen.”