We are going to meander around substantially as we keep looking at this issue. Although, I think it may not be as meandering as one might think. Getting along, humility, and forgiveness are perhaps the greatest stumbling blocks of all within individual bodies of believers. In my mind, at least, I see many of the thoughts expressed in this chapter as revolving around the question Peter asked his Lord. I may be completely wrong, but If so, we might still have fun poking around some in this Chapter of God’s Word!
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
This subject of who was the greatest seems to have come up now and then among the disciples, and it seems to come up fairly often among bodies of believers even to this day.
In a nutshell, then, who was to be the greatest in the Kingdom? Well, those who came as little children. As little children, we lay aside our own agendas and desires, and become as accepting as a little child.
But, another idea is expressed here, and I think it ties in quite nicely to our thought and question regarding how we deal with our brothers and sisters. None of us are perfect. Saved children of God continue to sin, and continue to err and fall short of God’s perfection. It is also fact that some of us move towards the goal of sanctification at different rates than others. The question then becomes: how do we who are further along react to those who may be struggling?
Do we seek to restore them? Do we forgive them 7 times 70? Or do we kill and eat our wounded? In closing, here are the thoughts of Jesus on how we who are mature should deal with those who are still children:
Matthew 18:5,6(ESV):Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.