Fellow Kingdomites

When the disciples asked Jesus a question about who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, He called a little child to Himself and set him in their midst (Matthew 18:1-2). He then told them that unless they humbled themselves and became as this little child, they would not even enter the kingdom of God (18:3). One must recognize that he is helpless, and depend on God to gain entrance into His eternal kingdom. It is the humble who are great in God’s kingdom. It is the humblest who is the greatest (18:4). As Jesus said in another place, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all” (see Mark 9:35).
In this passage, Jesus goes on to tell us how we must treat each other as fellow inhabitants of the kingdom of God as we await its consummation upon the earth (Mat.18:1-14). First, we must receive (welcome, accept) one another into the fellowship of the church (18:5). Second, we must be careful not to cause another to sin or go astray while also dealing radically with sin in our own lives (18:6-9). And third, if one of us goes astray, we must do all we can to bring him back into the fold (18:10-14).