The disciples wanted to know who was the greatest among them. Jesus showed the disciples they needed to change the way they were thinking.
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1. “The question the disciples ask fits in well with frequent Jewish discussions about hierarchy in various walks of life.” (Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. [Nashville: Broadman Press], 272)
The question “may have arisen because of the mention of Jesus’ death. Which of them would be leader in His absence?” (The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, [Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014], 1486)
2. “It tells us that the little child came to the Lord without hesitation.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 98)
“The child Jesus called to him served as an object lesson for the disciples. It was a memorable image to help them learn the nature of true maturity.” [Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber (2012). HNTC Vol. 01: Matthew. B&H Publishing Group. Retrieved from https://read.lifeway.com]
3. “Jesus solemnly declares the disciples must turn away (‘change’) from their preoccupation with status and must humble themselves like children.” (Blomberg, 273)
“Entering the kingdom is the prospect only for those who humbly trust in Jesus for salvation.” (Moody, 1486)
4. “All who are confident in their own kingdom standing should take stock. Is our confidence that of a child trusting the goodness of our Father, or is our confidence in ourselves?” (Blomberg, 273)
5. “Jesus has in mind people who welcome disciples because they accept their message and thus become disciples themselves.” (Blomberg, 274)
6. “The word offend means ‘to cause to stumble’; that is, to lead into sin.” (McGee, 99)
“The ‘large millstone’ referred to the huge stone wheels that were attached to a horizontal bar connected to a donkey’s harness. As the animal walked around in circles, the wheel rolled over a raised stone slab crushing the grain underneath. Depths refers to the deepest part of the sea.” (Blomberg, 274)
“He does not imply that one evil act leads to damnation, but a life-style characterized by causing others to sin is incompatible with true discipleship.” (Blomberg, 274)
7. “Since the fall all inherit a sinful nature, making sin inevitable in their lives, but all people freely choose to go along with that nature.” (Blomberg, 275)
8-9. “Disciples must radically reject anything that will lead them into evil.” (Blomberg, 275)
“Faithful dependence on God, regardless of how others treat one, makes a person great in God’s eyes.” (Blomberg, 275)
10. “We should humble ourselves and never cause others to sin because God never despises his people but rather is always concerned to go to great lengths to preserve them.” (Blomberg, 276)
11. “Most of the earliest and most reliable manuscripts omit v. 11.” (Blomberg, 276)
12. “The ninety-nine refer to faithful followers of Jesus who no longer need to repent because they are not straying from him.” (Blomberg, 276)
13. “The reality of human existence is that greater joy often does follow the recovery of those who had previously caused greater distress.” (Blomberg, 277)
14. “God goes to great pains to redeem His people and to keep them in His love.” (Moody, 1486)
Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.
Blomberg, Craig L., The New American Commentary, Volume 22, Matthew. Nashville: Broadman Press
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
Robertson, A. T., A Harmony of the Gospels. New York, HarperCollins Publishers
The Moody Bible Commentary, The Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL, 2014
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004