THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2018
GREAT LIKE A CHILD
Today’s gospel: Matthew 18:1-14
The disciples asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven?” (v.1). Was this about power and
position, as in the case of Peter upon whom Jesus was going
to build his church? Was it about their works of healing the
sick and driving out demons? Was it about being in the inner
circle of Jesus as some of them witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration
in the awesome presence of Moses and Elijah? Talking about
greatness, these would be it!
again, Jesus confounds them. “He called a child over,
placed it in their midst, and said, ‘Amen, I say to
you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not
enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like
this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’”
(v.3-4). Unless you become like a child, you are not only
not the greatest in the kingdom of God, but you will not even
shocking and bewildering this must have been for the disciples.
A child was a nobody in Jewish society. A child had no power
and was totally dependent on others. But then, in relation
to God, that is how it needs to be. We cannot be great unless
we are totally dependent and reliant on God, unless any power
we exercise emanates from Him, unless everything we do redounds
to His glory.
child is innocent and pure (though naughty at times). We too
must be pure. So much so that if our hand or foot or eye causes
us to sin, it is better to cut it off and throw it away (v.8-9).
We are called to holiness and Christian perfection. It is
only as such that we can become great in Christ.
to be great in deed is to do the divine work of God. And the
most important work is that of evangelization, because this
is about helping people to attain the salvation that Jesus
already won for them. Every Christian is to be an evangelizer.
This work is at the very heart of God, as “it is not
the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little
ones be lost.” (v.14). Thus the man with a hundred sheep
searches for the one sheep that has gone astray, and rejoices
when he finds it (v.12-13). This is a parable on God’s
mercy and love for everyone. But this is a greater challenge
today, since not only one but 99 of the 100 sheep have strayed
and are lost. The work of bringing back the lost sheep has
been entrusted to God’s people. How awesome and great
that work is, being the very work of Jesus the Savior.