Heavenly Father, thank You for your generosity in bestowing immeasurable treasure upon all who enter Your kingdom through childlike faith in Jesus. Help us joyfully follow Christ without comparing ourselves to others. Help us pursue true greatness by serving others like Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Matthew 19-20
Matthew 19:1–12 God’s design for marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life. God only permits divorce because of man’s sinful and hard heart of rebellion, which brought much sin and abuse into marriage. Therefore, God allows divorce only when there is sexual immorality. According to Jesus, the only alternative to heterosexual marriage is celibacy.
Matthew 19:13–29 Notice again how coming to Jesus requires a childlike approach. There are so many adult hindrances to childlike faith: external evaluations of worth, self-righteousness, trust in our own effort or good works, fear of man, the love of money—the list goes on. God wants us to treasure Him and trust Him to provide all we need, like a child trusts his father. Praise God that the power for childlike faith comes not from man, but from God who makes all things possible.
Matthew 19:30–20:16 All who follow Jesus will receive the immeasurable treasure of the kingdom of heaven, regardless of how long they’ve been a disciple. Those who follow and serve Jesus a long time (like Peter from 19:27) might think they deserve more than recent converts; as a result, they might grumble at the King’s perceived inequality (20:10–12). But they would be wrong. Since the treasure of salvation comes only by God’s merciful grace, all should rejoice in the King’s generosity (20:13–16), not compare it with others.
Matthew 20:17–34 Notice again how Jesus’ words reverse our expectations: Jesus came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. Jesus’ service—culminating in His suffering, death, and resurrection—brings total salvation for sinners. Therefore, those who want to be truly great in following Jesus must be a servant and slave to all.
26 But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- Jesus teaches on many obstacles that might prevent us from entering His kingdom. What areas of life are you holding on to, hoping you can follow Jesus and ? How can you get rid of those obstacles? Talk with another follower of Jesus about them and enlist their prayer support as you seek to repent and follow Him.
- Do you struggle to let go of earthly idols? Reflect on this article on Idolatrous Habits. Be willing to talk and pray with another believer about any idols you discover.
- Discuss the ways we’re all tempted to underestimate the importance of child-like faith. Consider the times you have preferred more adult, “intellectual” ways of relating to Jesus. How does a dismissal of childlikeness affect our faith or faithlessness?
- In Jesus’ new kingdom, those who want to lead should be ready to serve. They should be willing to fill any gaps, cover any needs, and do the hidden, dirty work in service of those they wish to lead. Talk with your community about adjusting your leadership and service styles to reflect Jesus’ values. What are specific ways you are a leader in your environment? Identify specific ways you can develop more service habits.