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Know God in a Year #137 True Greatness Defined

Even the watching universe is learning, as Jesus instructs that the characteristics of greatness aren’t power and authority, as the disciples believe.
Jesus, holding a child, explains that heaven values the characteristics of simplicity, sincerity, and the trusting love of a little child. He says unless they become like that, they can’t even be in his kingdom, let alone hold high positions.
Heavenly intelligences can cooperate with those who know God enough to trust Him, depending on Him confidently, as a well-loved child depends on a parent.
John, with the spirit of a child, confides, “Master we stopped someone who was casting out devils in your name, because he wasn’t one of us.”
Grateful for his risk-taking confidence, Jesus responds gently, “Anyone doing miracles in my name won’t easily speak evil of me, so you don’t want to stop him.”
We don’t read people’s hearts or motives, and can so easily discourage people from doing good. Everyone Jesus has drawn is a conduit for God’s love. We have no ability to judge one who doesn’t think like us, who isn’t part of our group.
Jesus uses intense metaphors to impress them with God’s value of children and the weak, including those weak in faith. Those who misrepresent God’s attitude and character by harshness and coldness, and yet claim to know Him, are especially offensive–it would be better for them if they drown.
All of us are broken, needing God’s tenderness and love. Time with Jesus pours God’s love into us. Love brings wisdom (recognizing what you don’t know) before honor.
Matthew 18:1-7,  Mark 9:36-50,  Luke 9:48-50

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