Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"

Pecking Order

Briefing: Does seniority count in your department? Law enforcement agencies rely strongly on years of service for things such as requesting days off, promotions, bidding shifts, and vacations.

Dispatch (Assignment): What is your department's policy on seniority benefits? Read Matthew 18:1-9.

On the Street: The disciples had a pecking order. There were, at times, hundreds of people who followed Jesus that considered themselves as His disciples. Out of these, the Bible says that Jesus picked twelve. Of those twelve, we see several times that Jesus has an inner circle of just three: Peter, James, and John. Most people would agree that of these twelve, Peter was the leader.

In the previous study, as in the account in Luke, Jesus had just healed the boy who was demon possessed. His father told Jesus that His disciples could not drive the demon out. I can see an argument of who is greatest between the disciples who could not drive out the demon. One of the disciples probably said something like, "Well, I could have driven it out". From there, an argument could have erupted into the discussion they were having over who was the greatest disciple among the twelve.

Jesus shocks them all by pulling a child out of the crowd and placing the child "among them". They were behaving like children, but not the kind of children Jesus was calling them to be. Jesus contrasts their pride and arrogance against the lowly position of a child. Jesus tells us to quit worrying about our seniority or our place in the chain of command. Concentrate on the things He is teaching you, like putting others first, having mercy and compassion, and follow the example He has been setting for us.

Highlights from this Read: If you are ever looking for an independent study to work on, I would suggest reading Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. While reading the four gospels, look for examples of Jesus correcting the world view of things such as murder.

In verse three, Jesus said I must be "converted". This means to change or turn around. We have to change from what we are, natural human survivors, to what He has called us to be: unnatural, spiritually minded people who think more about dying daily to ourselves than self-survival.

Investigational Resources: For other gospel accounts, see Mark 9:33-37 and Luke 9:46-48. Psalm 116:6 talks about the simple hearted, not the simple minded. I believe Jesus is calling us to be simple hearted like a child.

Officer Safety Principle: Jesus has set the example. We need to follow it.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.