Psalms 119:49-72 * 49, 53; Exodus 33:1-23; 1Thessalonians 2:1-12; Matthew 5:17-20
Jesus' discussion of the law and the commandments today bring forth an interesting comparison. He says that anyone who breaks the least of the commandments, and teaches someone else to break the least of the commandments will be called "least" in the kingdom. Compare that to the individual who "does" the commandments and teaches them, that person will be called "great" in the kingdom. I find the word "great" an interesting choice of words, for it is not "greatest", but "great".....meaning that in our community there will be those who are "great" and recognized for it, but recognized only to an appropriate point.
There is no limitation as to the number of people who can and will be called "great". It seems to me this in an invitation for each and everyone of us to fit into this category of great, into this community of individuals all of whom are great.
Human nanture being what it is though, won't someone want to be "greatest"? It seems to me that Jesus is reminding us here, by this simple choice of words, that there is only one "greatest", and it is not anyone of us. We can all be "great" in the kingdom, we can all be equal in the kingdom, great in the kingdom....Jesus sits in the midst of us as the greatest....and there is a beautiful and calming solace in that knowledge.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer, All rights reserved.