The Greatest: Week 2
The Greatest: Week 2
Question for today: Who is the greatest in this kingdom?
- Those who are humble are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 18:1-4 (NLT) About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. 3 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4 So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. [emphasis mine]
I. The greatest in the kingdom is like the king.
A. Two reasons (of many) Jesus was humble:
- Jesus humbled Himself because He loves us. God’s plan to redeem us (crucifixion and resurrection) required Jesus to leave Heaven.
- Jesus was humble so that we would have a model to follow.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
II. What would that look like in our lives if we lived like our king?
A. Put to death rivalry and pride.
Philippians 2: 3-4 (ESV) Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
III. The effect of a humble church: a sign pointing toward the kingdom
A. Effect of a humble church is unity!
Philippians 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy[h] of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
Philippians 2:2 Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.
B. A humble and unified church is a sign to the world.
Philippians 1:27-28 I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, 28 and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.
John 17:20-21 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
IV. Application: Do you want to be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?
- Bow your heart before the Lord.
- Entrance into the Kingdom of God takes humility.
- Practice humility.
- Fight for unity in the church, so that the world may believe that God the Father sent God the Son.
- Resolve conflict – be a peacemaker.
- Forgive others as God has forgiven you.
Discuss in your life group this week:
- Paul also gives himself, Timothy, and Epaphroditus as examples in Philippians 2 for the church to imitate. What does he communicate about them that he wants others to imitate?
- What could practicing humility look like in your life this week? If it helps, you can first rehearse the ways in which Jesus was humble. His humility is a model for us to imitate.
- Why is humility required to enter the kingdom of Heaven? (Matthew 18:1-4)
- Why does Jesus say that unity within His church is an important thing?