“Leading is very likely the most costly thing you will ever do. And the chances are very good that it will never bring you riches or fame or praise in exchange for your great sacrifices. But if you want to love God and others, and if you long to live your life now for the sake of eternity, then there is nothing better than being a leader.”
Allender, Dan B.. Leading with a Limp: Take Full Advantage of Your Most Powerful Weakness (p. 2). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Matthew’s gospel begins the fourth discourse of five with a question: Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
If it was merely an abstract question or an academic one, then that would be one thing. It was, according to Luke’s gospel an internal struggle and Mark’s gospel an external issue of quarreling for the disciples. Luke mentions that Jesus knew their thoughts and Mark that the disciples were quarreling over who was the greatest.
James and John of Zebedee went up the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus and Peter, but Peter had messed up a number of times. So two chapters later in Matthew’s gospel “Mama bear Zebedee” asked if her two sons could be the greatest (Matthew 20).
Jesus brought a boy into their midst. Why? You will never know greatest without children in your midst. Jesus said: “Unless you become a child you cannot enter the kingdom. Whoever humbles himself like this child will be exalted” (Matt. 18:3-4).
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Duh, Jesus. He became a child, not with original sin but became indifferent to social status.
Are you indifferent to social and ecclesiastical status? The world trains us to look up, but Jesus says look down if you want to understand greatness.