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. (NIV)
3 thoughts on “Matthew 18:1-5”
Notice this condition of entering the Kingdom… becoming as ‘passive’ and ‘innocent’ and ‘Guileless’ as a child… like a sheep amonst the wolves… which is a very tall order indeed! If a man slaps you on the right cheek, you must turn to him your left also… This is not talking about eternal salvation, but about being fit to enter Christ milennial kingdom on Earth. He was preaching to Jews… to whom God made the kingdom promises, and to whom Christ was specifically sent.
This shows the complete contrast to what St Paul preaches regarding eternal Salvation… which has nothing to do with entering Christ’s millenial kingdom neither does it set such conditions… and Paul primarily preached to gentiles… to whom he was sent. One is saved today simply by Belief… without works. These are important dispensational Distinctions to make between Christs Gospel of the kingdom and Pauls Gospel of Grace.
Interesting … so Matthew’s Kingdom of Heaven is Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth?
The short answer is yes.
When he preached “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”… this was the gospel… ie ‘Good news’ to the Jews because it ment their Messiah was about to redeem them from subjection to the Romans and set up his Earthly kingdom and rule the world from Israel. This offer was twice made to the Jews. Once before the Cross by Christ himself, with his disiples, and Christ Sent Peter again unto the Jews after his resurection, having spent 40 more days teaching them about things pretaining to the kingdom (Acts 1vs 3) and they asked him plainly if he would establish his kingdom ‘at this time’… (Acts1vs6) He does not say ‘no’, but that it was not for them to know. Thus Peter began again to preach to the Jews that Christ was their Messiah… their King. He tells them that they murdered their Messiah, and that if they did not repent they would be cut off. Thus it is important to realise Peter did not preach the cross as Salvation, but as Condemnation. The Jews again rejected the Gospel preached by Peter which culminates in the stonning of Stephen. this is when God postpones Christs earthly Kindgom and sets Israel aside because of their unbelief, and instead raises up St Paul with a New Gospel which has nothing to do with the kingdom, and sends him to preach Salvation to the Gentiles. It is to St Paul that God reveals the mystery that the Cross of Christ was Gods means of Salvation, and that His death, burial, and resurection had restored peace between Man and God for whosoever will simply believe it (Put their trust in Christ’s work on the cross). This is the gospel we know today… That Christ died on the cross for our sins and rose again for our justification and that wosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
It is a massive revelation to grasp the truth that Pauls Gospel was a new and completely different Gospel to what Christ and Peter preached.
Ones you grasp this, the Bible opens up its glorious truths… yet this dispensational aspect of the scriptures has been burried under millenia of false teaching and tradition to the extent that today many people think that you must obey the Old testament to be saved… ie they cannot grasp what Paul means when he says “For by Grace are ye saved, though faith.and that not of yourselves. it is the Gift of God. Not of works, least any man should boast.” (Eph2vs8,9) They dont understand what Paul Means when he says “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1Tim1vs15,16).
Pauls Salvation was a completely New thing!
It was for a pattern for Salvation for those thereafter.
Our Salvation and fellowship has nothing to do with establishing a political/theocratic kingdom.
Our Salvation is individualistic… Libertarian.