Greatest in the Kingdom


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”

Matthew 18:1-5

The greatest in the Kingdom of God are probably people you’ve never heard of.

We champion and look up to Christians who are in the public eye, and there is no doubt that the call of God of some will lead them to public acclaim, but that does not make them the greatest in the Kingdom or even the most effective in advancing that Kingdom.

Jesus said it this way, “But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.” (Mark 10:31).

I once heard the story of a crippled man unable to leave his home. But he loved God and prayed fervently. In many ways, it was all he could do.

After his passing, his wife discovered a prayer diary where he recorded each of his prayers. He prayed for revival in his city and throughout the land, listing churches and cities by name. When his wife made that diary public and news about it spread, people were so moved, they began turning to God in repentance. In almost the exact order of the old man’s prayers, churches and communities were spiritually revived.

A man, confined to his bed, had brought about revival to a countless many.

Some of the most important heroes in the Bible are hardly even mentioned.

Who was the loving mother that packed a lunch of five loaves and two fish for her young son and allowed him to go listen to Jesus? How did she raise him in a way that he would give it to Jesus rather than eat it himself?

Who was Zebedee? What type of father must he have been to raise both James and John? And what faith must have lived in his heart that he allowed them to leave his side, while working, to go follow Jesus?

Who were the women who financially supported Jesus and his disciples as he traveled city to city proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God?

Unknown, even to this day, but among the most important in the advance of the Kingdom.

I write this today, not to bring attention to these men and women, but to encourage you in your faithfulness and service.

Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever your gifts are, use them faithfully and fervently for the Kingdom of God.

Your name may never be known, but your impact can be greater than even the most praised Christian leader today. Those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.

Do all you can, give your entire life, be completely faithful and wholly righteous in service of the King. Your work will make a greater difference in the future of the world than even you know.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the special call that you have placed on my life to serve you. Reveal it to me today and always in the future. Stir inside me a passion to serve you as I have been called. And grant me the strength and faithfulness to accomplish it each day. In Jesus’ name and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.