Morning: Matt. 18:6-14; Noon: Josh. 20-24; Jud. 1; Evening: Psalm 55:1-9
Not surprisingly, kingdom discussions come to the forefront among the disciples soon after Jesus’ promise to build His church (Mat. 16:13-20). The church and the kingdom of heaven are one and the same (Daniel 7:27). The disciples wish to know from Jesus who is the greatest in His kingdom (Matt. 18:1). Jesus uses a little child to illustrate His answer: the humble, the oppressed, the downcast, the forgotten, the ones in need of teaching and growth. These are all characteristics that often represent children, and Jesus uses several of them throughout the rest of His discourse in Matthew 18. He speaks of those who believe in Him, but are probably easily persuaded (vv. 6-9). He speaks of those who have gone astray (vv. 10-14). He also goes on to speak about those who sin against a Christian, but evidently are not a level yet of stepping up or being knowledgeable enough to take responsibility as they ought (vv.15-20). These are those who take a front seat in the kingdom, because they are in need of service and strengthening.
What is your attitude about the weak? Do you see them riding coach in the church, or do you see them more like carry-on baggage, that regrettably, needs to be taken along on board? Have you forgotten that the weak are the very ones whom the kingdom of Christ serves? Why is evangelism so important to the church? Because they are among the weak! Why is visiting the straying member so crucial? Because they are among the weak! Why are youth activities so often a staple work in congregations of the Lord? Because they are among those who are novice, and growing, and in need of preparation. “The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost” (v.11). For what purpose have you come? Have you come to ride first class? Have you come to coast in comfort? Have you come to exalt yourself, and look down upon the weak as a trouble and waste of your time? Ugly remarks and attitudes about the weak really have no place in Christ’s kingdom. That just places ourselves among the weak, because apparently we ourselves do not even understand what the mission is really about. I must admit, that I myself must continue to grow and beware of this. Until you are willing to make place for the weak at your table, Jesus will not come and dine with you. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” (v.5).
Are you making place for the weak?