Who is the greatest?
Pp Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48
Prepared to be a nobody
The children of the Kingdom
A believer’s inseparable unity with Christ
It’s been my practice to compile an introduction at the beginning of major passages to explain to the reader the broad outline and the significant points, trying to draw out themes and subjects which are dealt with and which are common denominators.
Here, however, there seems little need for this and I intend, rather, dealing with the verses as they’re presented to the reader in chapter 18. Some commentators feel that this is another example of the author’s tendency to compile a discourse that actually took place at different times within Jesus’ overall ministry to Israel.
I’ve already commented on this technique on numerous pages where I noted that, just because a teaching is repeated and, in that repetition, can be varied, it doesn’t follow that it was given on one occasion only but that Jesus would have tailored His teaching to the situation in which He found Himself and taken what had been previously declared to be made known in another place, to another people as and when they needed to hear it.
Matthew chapter 18 again reads like one occasion on which teaching was given to the disciples, another private time of teaching which Jesus is giving, and the words don’t appear to have been addressed to the crowds.
There’s the interjection of Peter in Mtw 18:21 which gives Jesus the opportunity to speak about forgiveness and Mark notes a statement of John in 9:38 which leads on to a passage of teaching (Mark 9:42-48) which is similar to that which is found in Mtw 18:7-9 but which is presented to the reader as a continuous discourse. It may be, therefore, that the teaching brought together here relied partly on questions and statements from the disciples which have gone largely unrecorded.
Whichever way Matthew compiled this chapter, the composition reads like he meant us to accept that it took place in that short time between their arrival back from the region of Caesarea Philippi and their departure from Galilean soil for the last time to travel to Jerusalem for the final Passover (Mtw 19:1).
And so, we move on to the opening six verses of this chapter.
That the three parallel passages differ in their content while, at the same time, covering the same event appears obvious by a quick reading of their texts. A harmony of these three passages is, therefore, somewhat necessary and it’s the first thing we should do as we approach the passage. While Matthew is quick to move on to Jesus’ teaching concerning numerous issues regarding the believer’s relationship with the Father, he tends to cut straight to the chase and gives virtually no preamble and background to the disciples’ question.
Firstly, then, the disciples were travelling along with Jesus from some place to home and were discussing on the way as to who among them should be considered the greatest (Mark 9:33-4, Luke 9:46). Mark’s record of the event makes it sound as if it’s the return journey from the district of Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum and, even though Mtw 17:24-27 would see the group already at home in their home city, it’s possible that the passage is included there because it fits better than at the conclusion of chapter 18.
However, this needn’t be insisted upon and the travelling which is indicated by Mark may mean no more than that they’d gone out for a stroll one morning and were now returning to the place where they were staying. So, they arrive back at the house and enter in (Mark 9:33).
Perceiving the argument (Luke 9:46) that had been continuing on the way, Jesus asked them what it was they were discussing as they journeyed, bringing to their memory an issue which He was wanting to address (Mark 9:33, Luke 9:47). In shame, no doubt, the disciples fell silent (Mark 9:34) as they came to realise that Jesus wasn’t bringing the subject up because He was proud of them and wanting to commend them!
Then, one of the disciples asked Jesus on everyone’s behalf (Mtw 18:1 - my italics)
‘So who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’
After all, if Jesus wanted to bring the matter up, they might as well find out the correct answer. We must notice the Greek text here for their question begins with a participle meaning ‘so’ which, by inference, means that this question is a reaction to someone else’s question or statement. Matmor renders the question (my italics) as
‘Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?’
which gives equal weight to the question as my rendering does above. We have to understand that, even though Matthew doesn’t record the incident taking place of the discussion on a journey they were on and neither is there the inclusion of Jesus’ initiative, the question which the disciples are recorded as asking demands that something has taken place immediately before that is being referred to.
Jesus then calls for a child - maybe this is one of the disciples’ sons who was standing in another room and who was playing while the father listened to Jesus’ teaching - and puts him by His side (Luke 9:47), the disciples standing around Jesus so that the child is also in their midst (Mark 9:36, Mtw 18:2) and speaks a few words about the need to become like children (Mtw 18:3-4) before taking the child up in His arms (Mark 9:36) and speaking some more clear instruction to them (Mtw 18:5-6, Mark 9:37, Luke 9:48).
Perhaps not the most orthodox of ways within the Church to teach a congregation - with a child in one’s arms - but, nevertheless, the most effective for the point which Jesus is trying to make here! What happened to the child from Mtw 18:7 is impossible to say but the author’s record that Jesus says (Mtw 18:10)
‘See that you do not despise one of these little ones’
would need to have children present for it to make sense and it’s best to see Jesus as still clinging on to the child that He’s just lifted up a few moments earlier.
Who is the greatest?
Mtw 18:1, Mark 9:33-34, Luke 9:46
Yes, but who was the greatest apostle?
I guess that there must be two main possibilities.
Firstly, there would be Peter.
After all, Peter moved in revelation (Mtw 16:16), was told that the Church would be built on him (Mtw 16:18), was given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven (Mtw 16:19) and was even given that unique privilege of being on the mount of transfiguration along with James and John (Mtw 17:1).
He was specially commissioned by Christ to look after His followers in a way that none of the others were ever told (John 21:15-17) and was even chosen by the Lord Himself to be with Him in Gethsemane in the hour of His greatest need (Mtw 26:37). And what about the role of leadership he assumed when Christ ascended back into Heaven (Acts 1:25-26), being recorded as the only preacher on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1,14-40) when 3,000 were saved (Acts 2:41)? Besides, how many other disciples are recorded as having raised the dead (Acts 9:36-43)?
And yet, for all his admirable qualities, Peter did have a few flaws which detract from his unique greatness. He seemed to be on the side of satan to try and frustrate the will of God (Mtw 16:21-23), wasn’t the sort of person who could deal with difficult situations (Mtw 17:1-8), didn’t think through the implications of the revelation he received (Mtw 17:24-27) and, when it came down to it, he was ashamed to be a follower of Christ because of the fear of persecution and, perhaps, death (Mtw 26:69-75).
To say that the Day of Pentecost and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit changed him would be a misleading statement as well, for even the apostle Paul had to rebuke him for his cowardice (Gal 2:11-14) and it’s probably worthwhile noting, while we’re thinking about the post-ascension years, that the author Luke centres on Paul in the book of Acts, Peter fading out very quickly after the opening chapters.
So there’s pros and cons in considering Peter as being the greatest of the apostles. The same could be said of choosing Paul, the second option.
But Paul was a mighty figure for we’ve only to consider the amount of letters which were written by him and which have been incorporated into the Bible for subsequent generations of believers (at least thirteen of them!). That means his teaching must have been sound indeed.
And what of his works? After his conversion, he immediately proclaimed Jesus in Damascus (Acts 9:20) and was in the forefront of the leadership in Antioch (Acts 13:1) before being sent out by the Holy Spirit on missionary journeys (Acts 13:2-3). The amount of fellowships planted by Paul must have been enormous, with signs following his ministry wherever he went (Acts 13:4-12 - opposing satanic forces in Cyprus, 14:3 - performing signs and wonders in Iconium, 14:8-10 - healing the lame in Lystra, 16:16-18 - delivering those with demons in Philippi, 19:11-12 - sicknesses healed and demons expelled in Ephesus and even in 20:9-12 the raising of the dead in Troas, an example of the dangers of falling asleep while listening to a sermon).
And it’s Paul who becomes the central figure of Luke’s history of the early Church, surely showing conclusively that he was the most important of all the apostles.
But, just like Peter, there are some negatives, too.
For he couldn’t get free from that ‘messenger of satan’ that seems to have dogged him all his life (II Cor 12:7) and was often downcast (II Cor 1:8). Hardly an example to a young believer of what it must mean to live in victory, is he?
He even had to be restrained by other believers from getting himself into trouble (Acts 19:30) and was uncompassionate over the problem of Mark (Acts 15:36-40), coming to the point in his arguing with Barnabas where he spilt from him. However, his self-confessed humility in considering himself to be the least of all the apostles (I Cor 15:9) should surely elevate him into a position of greater worth than Peter.
I guess that we could go on to speak of John and his brother James, of Apollos and James the Lord’s brother who rose up as the leader of the Jerusalem church - and of a great many others who have been recorded in the pages of history as contributing something unique and great to the expansion and advance of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.
But surely the choice has to be between Peter and Paul?
I hope that the reader won’t have switched off in my last few paragraphs of comparing these two apostles for it demonstrates the way our minds often work not only when we look at the figures of Church history but when we glance around and try to consider those of our own generation who are at the forefront of doing great things for God.
It’s such a similar scenario to the one that confronts us in the current passage that we would do well to stop and consider for a moment the pedestals that we often use to elevate our leaders beyond their own station and position.
The disciples’ problem was one step on from this but no less problematical - they thought that, because they were one of the twelve specially chosen by Jesus (Mtw 10:1-4 - assumed interpretation) that they must be the twelve most important people in the Kingdom of Heaven and so were going about trying to organise themselves into a hierarchy - a sort of spiritual pecking order - that would define their importance within the overall framework of the move of God in their own generation.
If we were to bring it down to one common problem, it was that they were wanting to know who the greatest was rather than discover what it was that would make someone to be considered great in the Kingdom. That is, they were thinking of their own current greatness rather than think of how they might be better servants of God.
We all tend to measure success and greatness by criteria which the world uses and then take those and apply them to the Church. The leader with the biggest congregation, the greatest following, the most converts, the one who casts out the demonic on a daily basis - all these are considerations which the world forces upon its inhabitants where winning is everything, but it shouldn’t be so in the Church. There are other, more important considerations which, when we begin to think about them, cause us to realise that the greatest probably doesn’t think of himself in those terms!
In other words, true greatness is the honesty to think nothing of oneself and to get on with the work which the Father has committed into one’s hands. For all we know, the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven might be that little old lady that sits at the back of our meeting and never visibly takes part in anything, great simply because she’s become like a child (Mtw 18:3-4) and not great because she’s visibly reaching the world as all our young people are.
But who are our eyes drawn towards, pray tell?!!
Prepared to be a nobody
Mtw 18:3-4, Mark 9:35, Luke 9:48c
In the previous article, I’ve looked at a few of the things which we often use to define spiritual greatness in our midst and how these things are devoid of sound reason, being more established on visible success than it is upon the need to be the person that God wants us to be.
Here, we’ll continue by looking at what Jesus has to say about true greatness and the need to be nothing in people’s eyes that we might be something in God’s. I know that they’re not very pleasant words but that appears to be the burden of Jesus’ statement in Mtw 18:3-4 and it’s better we pay careful attention to what Jesus has to say than to continue using worldly assessments of one another which not only elevate to high positions but which cut down to the ground even when fellow believers have little recourse to a defence of what’s been said in private and, even if they were given opportunity, would probably not take it to provide self-justification.
Unfortunately, it’s still the case in many church circles that, if your face fits, you can do almost what you want and it will be acceptable. If your face doesn’t, whatever you do will be misinterpreted by those who have set themselves up as judges, the individual being condemned without mercy.
It’s only when one is prepared to be a no one, however, when the person actually becomes discredited and rejected, when they are considered to be the most despised and downtrodden amongst the people of God, that they are in a unique position of becoming someone!
Weird, but true.
If we were to correctly understand the meaning of greatness, we would shudder - and with good reason. For all our hierarchical structures within the churches would be seen to be instantly an outworking of that discussion that the disciples had while they were journeying back to Capernaum as to who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
As I noted on a previous web page, the commissioning of the twelve was not an appointment which placed them into positions of unparalleled power and authority over the people but was a provision given to them on behalf of the people who had needs that had to be met.
By being chosen for ministry, the disciples thought of themselves as higher than those around them - that God had already set them apart as being twelve of the greatest individuals in the Kingdom of Heaven. They had a great deal to learn but, up to this point, they appear to still equate God’s selection for ministry with greatness.
Jesus, on the other hand, decides to point out to them not the position which makes great but the characteristics which do, for the disciples had been so concerned with comparing one another that they’d forgotten to assess themselves soberly in the light of the Kingdom requirements. Jesus’ words must have come as somewhat of a shock seeing as He tells them that they’re in need of repentance (Mtw 18:3) and that this attitude they have excludes them from entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
Indeed, their assessments presumed that they already had the right of access into the Kingdom itself but they’ve not realised that they need to recapture it! Their concern, therefore, should be to get themselves right to enter rather than think about the position in which they stand.
Jesus uses the example of a child and immediately turns the social norms on their head. There have been many interpretations of the reason that Jesus uses a child at this point but we should concern ourselves solely with the issue at hand - the disciples were wanting position and status in the Kingdom of Heaven and it’s this issue which Jesus addresses.
Therefore Matfran writes that
‘...a child was a person of no importance in Jewish society, subject to the authority of the elders, not taken seriously except as a responsibility, one to be looked after, not to be looked up to...it is, then, the status of the child that is the point, rather than any supposedly characteristic quality of children...’
Mathag sums it up a little more succinctly when he comments that
‘The social insignificance...was the very antithesis of the disciples’ interest in power and greatness’
Jesus words ‘humbles himself’ do not describe necessarily a pious look or a down-trodden image but the acceptance of an inferior position just as Jesus had done when He came to earth - an identical phrase is used in Phil 2:8 where it’s written that
‘...being found in human form [Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross’
and we can grasp a little of the social inferiority of children in general by Paul’s statements in Gal 4:1-2 that a child, even if it’s the heir of everything, is no better than a slave until the time appointed when he comes into all that is promised to be his inheritance.
Jesus’ answer, therefore, is an antidote to their glory-seeking, a solution to their self-exaltation. A male child had no position in the Jewish society of the first century until he reached a certain age when he was considered to have become a man. Likewise, unless the disciples forsook their position-grabbing and contented themselves to have no position (unless, of course, they were given position by God - as opposed to many of the authorities established over congregations which are man-made), they would never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. As Matmor points out (my italics)
‘...Jesus...does not concern Himself with relative positions and who will have the top job when the Kingdom comes: He speaks of the more basic problem of getting into the Kingdom’
The problem isn’t one of a small blip in the life of the Kingdom participant who needs to address an issue that they might be perfect but of a flaw which debars them from an initial right of entry. The warning couldn’t be the more stark and horrifying because the disciples had been given the authority to bring the Kingdom to bear into the nation’s life (Mtw 10:1) but they were in grave danger through their attitude of not entering it themselves!
Like children, therefore, all God’s followers should content themselves with having no position of prominence within God’s society (Luke 22:24-27) or, rather, they are not to seek to exalt themselves into positions of importance that are not rightfully theirs (Luke 14:8-11, Prov 25:6-7). And further than this - dominance over another is a sure sign that one’s dependence upon God the Father for full provision is lacking for comparisons are made by recourse to personal traits and endearing characteristics rather than from a realisation that whatever one has is worthless. Therefore, Mathag writes that
‘The status of the disciples before God was like that of dependent children and their corresponding attitude was to be a childlike humility not pride of position or power...’
Though we might be drawn into thinking that Jesus’ words are a little harsh, seeing as He equates the disciples’ attitude as incompatible with the Kingdom, it’s easily seen to be a fundamental matter of dependency upon the Father rather than a few rash words - the disciples still hadn’t grasped that entrance into the Kingdom wasn’t on the basis of personal ability or superiority but upon a simple acceptance of what the Father wanted to give and a continuing dependency upon Him for all that one needs.
Their attitude, therefore, is one which is directly opposed not to the advance of the Kingdom but to its individual and personal acceptance.
Finally, a brief mention must be made of two passages in the parallels which emphasise this idea of the lowliness of position but I mention them only in passing. Mark 9:35 records Jesus as saying that
‘If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all’
and Luke 9:48c which reads
‘...he who is least among you all is the one who is great’
Both these reiterate the idea of personal worthlessness in the face of many an assertion in today’s Church that self-esteem and self-love are important principles to equip the believer and to prevent them from living in rejection and defeat.
The truth is that Jesus expected His disciples to assume the lowest position and that true greatness before God wasn’t measured in the ecclesiastical position to which one rises but the attitude of heart which supports the followers of God to the point of self-denial.
The children of the Kingdom
The reader will note that I’ve followed a division of Matthew chapter 18 which seems to draw a line in the middle of a sentence which continues from verse 5 into 6 and which is made all the more significant in the RSV by the cohesion of these two verses into one paragraph.
Although I toyed with the idea of ending this web page after 18:4, 18:5 is included in the parallel passages in both Mark and Luke which draw their section to a close and I therefore jumped to the end of 18:6 to bring it in line with the RSV’s perceived sections.
However, 18:6 really begins a separate teaching concerning stumbling blocks and temptation which continues to 18:9 and which Mark 9:42-47 consigns to a separate narrative which is the response to a question which comes from John (Mark 9:38).
So, the division must necessarily be in the middle of a sentence!
More importantly, however, is for the reader to decide whether Jesus’ use of the terms ‘children’ (Mtw 18:3, 18:5) and ‘little ones’ (Mtw 18:6, 18:10, 18:14) refer to humans under a certain age who believe in Jesus (Mtw 18:6) or whether Jesus is using the terminology to speak of the disciples which He’s just informed must become like children that they might enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matfran is convinced that the equation
children = believers
is applicable throughout and speaks of the transition from one to the other having already begun in Mtw 18:4 and which then continues throughout the remaining verses. He comments that the phrase ‘one such child’
‘...is not a reference to children as such but to those who as Jesus’ followers...whether young or adult, have accepted the child’s status’
Mathag further illustrates the point by noting similar statements by Jesus concerning children in Matthew’s Gospel as proof that this is what is intended and, at first sight, the parallels seem to be proof positive. However, when one looks at the Greek words employed, it is immediately obvious that things aren’t all they appear to be.
The word for ‘children/child’ used in Mtw 18:3 and 18:5 (Strongs Greek number 3813) is not used of believers in this Gospel even though there are parallels in English and it’s used predominantly for natural children rather than spiritual ones. Therefore Kittels comments that
‘Jesus evaluates children highly (Mtw 18:2ff, Mtw 19:13ff). This is not because of a Hellenistic sense of their relative innocence, but because their littleness, immaturity and need of help keep the way open for God’s fatherly love’
without any reference to an assumed reference to adult believers. The other word used here in Mtw 18:6, 18:10 and 18:14 and translated by the term ‘little ones’ (Strongs Greek number 3398) is only used of believers in Mtw 10:42 where we read that
‘...whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward’
where the reference is to the righteous man and prophet of the preceding verse. Luke 19:3 also employs the word of Zacchaeus but the word is further defined by the addition of a word (Strongs Greek number 2244) which means ‘of stature’ or ‘of age’. Of itself, the word simply means ‘a little one’ and could be employed of adults when something about them is considered to be relatively small. Kittels comments regarding the word and the passages where it occurs that
‘Jesus calls people “these little ones” with no hint of disparagement...The reference is not necessarily to children but is more likely to be to disciples...’
At least, then, there is a precedent for accepting the passage as referring to believers. Other references to the disciples or men and women in general as children or babes occur in Mtw 11:25 (Strongs Greek number 3516), Mtw 23:15 (Strongs Greek number 5207), Mtw 3:9 (Strongs Greek number 5043) and Mtw 15:26, 23:37 (Strongs Greek number 5043), an indication that such terminology is relevant even if the exact same words which were used in Matthew chapter 18 aren’t the most common terms used.
By continuing with the ‘child’ metaphor, therefore, Jesus shows that, far from being insignificant, the believers of least standing are the ones who are in a very special relationship with God and that, even though they may be despised and hated by the world (or their fellow believers) they are of extreme importance.
One shouldn’t think, therefore, that should a leader stumble through sin that it’s worse than if a person with no such
ecclesiastical standing should succumb (Mtw 18:6-9). Though the implications in the world may be more disastrous for the former, in God’s eyes the two falling away are of equal importance - in fact, if we were to take the words literally and read into the implication, we might well conclude that the latter is actually more important than the former!
In both the following section and web pages on this chapter, therefore, I have accepted that Jesus is talking primarily about the importance of the believer who has no status or position of power and that, because of this, natural children who believe in Him (that is, in a society where children have no social status until a specific time in their lives - the implication is slightly different in western society) also are regarded with the same degree of equality and importance in the Kingdom.
A believer’s inseparable unity with Christ
Mtw 18:5, Mark 9:37, Luke 9:48
In the previous article, I noted that Jesus’ references to ‘children’ and ‘little ones’ have been taken to refer primarily to believers whether they be of an age when they are considered to be minors or otherwise. The real point of these verses which follow on from Mtw 18:4 is to show the unique position of believers who humble themselves as children - that is, they assume no status within the ecclesiastical set up and are probably counted as being one of the least within the fellowships we attend. But, as Jesus is recorded as saying in Luke 9:48
‘...he who is least among you all is the one who is great’
this being a unique record of a saying during this incident.
Matthew’s record of Jesus’ phrase here stops short of any reference to the Father and simply states the inseparable unity that a ‘little one’ has with Himself, whereas both Mark and Luke go further by remembering Jesus’ continuing parallel in which He stated (Mark 9:37, Luke 9:48) that
‘...whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me...’
It’s true, then, that, if anyone receives a believer, they receive Christ and that that also means that they receive the Father who sent Him into the world. This doesn’t have to do with salvation and it isn’t true to say that the people who offered hospitality to the travelling ministers of Christ in the NT were automatically brought into a right relationship with God through their kindness - it’s the importance of the insignificant believer that’s being taught here.
What Jesus is saying is that it’s impossible to separate Him from His followers (Mtw 28:20) - no matter how small or insignificant they might be considered to be. When Jesus was on the earth, those who received Him received the Father who sent Him and, whoever received Christ’s disciples received both Christ and the Father into their home (Mtw 10:40, Mark 9:37, John 13:20).
The situation was no difference even in the NT when Jesus had ascended to be with the Father, for Saul, persecuting the disciples of Jesus (Acts 9:1), was spoken to by Jesus Himself with the words (Acts 9:4 - my italics)
‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’
because to come against His disciples was to oppose Jesus Himself when that persecution and trouble was a result of who they were and what they were doing as an outworking of the command of God (John 15:20-21) and not, as is sometimes assumed, because they’d offended or sinned against someone.
From a natural point of view, political organisations will terrorise citizens of an enemy state because they are a part of the system that they are trying to overthrow even though they may hold little or no influence in the affairs of the state. Anyone - small or great - who lives in opposition to another may be set upon and the point is no different when we think about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. People will go after even the smallest of believers because they are who they are - but, even so, Jesus doesn’t discount their opposition as insignificant - because His leaders aren’t being persecuted - but takes each action against His follower as a move against Himself.
How important, on a positive note, that believers practice hospitality to one another and do so ungrudgingly, for in so doing they are receiving Jesus into their houses both in and through His servants (III John 5-8, I Peter 4:9). Even so, a warning exists in Scripture for receiving him who is opposed to Christ (that is, one who is in a state of apostasy rather than a fairly neutral unbeliever) and so receives the work and the spirit behind it (II John 10-11).
Receiving even the smallest in the Kingdom is as if one is receiving Jesus Himself - and if we have ‘become like children’ in our attitude towards our position and importance, then to receive us will be to receive Jesus’ presence into a household.
In my own experience, Jesus’ statement here is extremely poignant when it comes to literal children and not just believers who have no worries about their status and importance in the Kingdom of Heaven. The children’s ministry has often been kept out of sight and any bleed over into the main meeting is largely ignored or unwelcome. While it’s true to say that there should really be one meeting for everyone, it’s also true that children have individual needs and so require specialised instruction that they may grow up with the excitement of a relationship with God rather than the dead letter of regulations and laws.
But, too often, children are not appreciated as having a valid contribution to the grown ups because of their assumed rank within the Body of Christ (just as some believers aren’t regarded as having anything worthwhile in their lives by which they can instruct others). A lot depends on the sort of kids they are, how they’ve responded to the presence of God and just how spiritually alive or dead their teacher is!!!
The most enjoyable times in a Church meeting I’ve had have been in the children’s meeting when there was a good leader who allowed the kids to respond to what God wanted to do. Indeed, in that present case, the power of the fellowship’s ministry wasn’t ‘next-door’ in the main meeting but in that little sideroom where the Spirit fell and built the kids up to get excited with God.
If only some fellowships would think about smallness and insignificance amongst their ranks, they may eventually discover where God is actually moving!
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