The Question About Who Is Greatest
1 At that very time His disciples came to Jesus, asking, "Who then is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven?"
2 So, He called to Him a little child and placed him in front of them, 3 and said, "Truly I tell you, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven unless you turn [your life around] and become like little children [i.e., having child-like humility]. 4 Therefore, the person who will humble himself, as this little child, is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And the person who welcomes one little child like this, in my name [i.e., because he belongs to me], welcomes me [also].
6 But that person who causes one of these little ones [i.e., humble followers of the Lord] who believes in me to be led astray [from God], he would have been better off to have had a huge millstone tied around his neck and dumped into a deep ocean [Note: This "millstone" was a heavy circular stone rolled over grain to crush it and was moved by an animal walking in a circle]. 7 "It will be too bad for the world because of occasions that cause people to fall away [from God]! For it is inevitable that such occasions come, but it is too bad for that person who is responsible for causing it to happen. 8 If your hand or your foot becomes the occasion for you falling away [from God], cut them off and throw them away. It would be better for you to enter [never ending] life disabled or crippled, rather than keeping both hands and both feet and being thrown into the never ending fire [i.e., because they caused you to fall away from God]. 9 And if your eye becomes the occasion for you falling away [from God], gouge it out and throw it away, for it would be better for you to enter [never ending] life with [only] one eye, rather than keeping both eyes and being thrown into a fiery hell [i.e., because one of them caused you to fall away from God].
33 Then Jesus and His disciples came to Capernaum [Note: This city on the northwest shore of Lake Galilee had become sort of a headquarters for Jesus when He was in this region]. When He [and His disciples] entered a house He asked them, "What were you discussing on the way here?" 34 But they kept quiet for they had been arguing with one another over which one of them was the greatest. 35 So, He sat down and called the twelve apostles and said to them, "If anyone [of you] should [try to] be first [in importance] he will [end up] being last, and become the servant of all [the others]. 36 And He took a little child and placed it in front of them, and lifting the child up into His arms, He said to them, 37 "Whoever welcomes one such little child [as this] for my sake, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, does not welcome me [only], but [also] the One who sent me."
46 Then a dispute developed among Jesus' disciples as to which one of them was the greatest. 47 When Jesus knew what they were disputing about in their minds, He took a small child and placed him at His side, 48 and said to the disciples, "The person who welcomes this little child in my name [i.e., because he belongs to me], welcomes me [also]. And the person who welcomes me [i.e., into his life ?] welcomes God, who sent me. For that person who is the least [significant] among you men is the one who is the greatest [in importance]."