Matthew 18:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

New Living Translation
About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?"

English Standard Version
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

New American Standard Bible
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

King James Bible
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

International Standard Version
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom from heaven?"

NET Bible
At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And in that hour the disciples approached to join Yeshua and they were saying, “Who is truly the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
At the same time the disciples came unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?

King James 2000 Bible
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

American King James Version
At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

American Standard Version
In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Douay-Rheims Bible
AT that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying: Who thinkest thou is the greater in the kingdom of heaven?

Darby Bible Translation
In that hour the disciples came to Jesus saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?

English Revised Version
In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Webster's Bible Translation
At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Weymouth New Testament
Just then the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who ranks higher than others in the Kingdom of the Heavens?"

World English Bible
In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?"

Young's Literal Translation
At that hour came the disciples near to Jesus, saying, 'Who, now, is greater in the reign of the heavens?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:1-6 Christ spoke many words of his sufferings, but only one of his glory; yet the disciples fasten upon that, and overlook the others. Many love to hear and speak of privileges and glory, who are willing to pass by the thoughts of work and trouble. Our Lord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them, that unless they were converted and made like little children, they could not enter his kingdom. Children, when very young, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents. It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblems of the lowly minds of true Christians. Surely we need to be daily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-35. - Discourse concerning the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and the mutual duties of Christians. (Mark 9:33-50; Luke 9:46-50.) Verses 1-4. - The greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Verse 1. - At the same time; literally, in that hour. The narrator connects the following important discourse with the circumstances just previously related. Peter had completed the business of the didrachma, and had rejoined the body of disciples. These, according to St. Mark, had disputed about precedency on the way to Capernaum. Fired with the notion that their Master would ere long publicly assert his Messianic claims, which, in their view, implied temporal sovereignty and secular power, they looked forward to becoming dignitaries in this new kingdom. Three of them had been honoured with special marks of favour; one of them had been pre-eminently distinguished: how would it be when the coming empire was established? This had been the subject of conversation, and had given rise to some contention among them. Christ had marked the dispute, but had said nothing at the time. Now he gives them a lesson in humility, and teaches the spiritual nature of his kingdom, in which earthly pride and ambition find no place. From St. Mark we learn that Jesus himself took the initiative in the discourse, asking the disciples concerning their disputation on the road; and, when they were ashamed to answer, he added, "If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all." Our Gospel here takes up the story. The paradox seemed incomprehensible; so they put the question, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? The Greek is, Τίς ἄρα μαίζων ἐστὶν κ.τ.λ.; who then is greater? Vulgate, Quis, putas, major est? The illative particle "then" refers to what is recorded in St. Mark (Mark 9:34), or to some such difficulty in the querists' mind. They make the inquiry in the present tense, as though Christ had already selected the one who was to preside; and by the kingdom of heaven they mean the Messianic kingdom on earth, concerning which their notions did not yet rise above those of their contemporaries (comp. Acts 1:6). The comparative in the original, "greater," is virtually equivalent to the superlative, as it is translated in the Authorized Version. Such a question as the above could not have been asked had the apostles at this time recognized any absolute pre-eminence in Peter or acknowledged his supremacy.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus,.... When the receivers of the half shekel had spoke to Peter about his master's paying it, and Christ and he had conversed about it, by whose orders he had taken up a fish out of the sea, and from it a piece of money, which he had paid for them both; just at this time came the other eleven disciples to the house where Christ and Peter were: saying,

who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? Mark says, that the disciples disputed this point in the way; and that when they came to Jesus, he put the question to them, what they had been disputing about: and Luke takes no notice of any question put by one or another; but observes, that Christ perceiving the thoughts of their hearts, in order to rebuke, and convince them, took the method hereafter mentioned. All which is reconcilable, and of a piece: the sum is this; that as they were in the way to Capernaum they fell upon this question, which, being known to Christ, the omniscient God; when they came to Capernaum, and to the house where he was, and knowing that the same thought was in them, he asked them what they had been talking of by the way; upon which they were silent; but calling them nearer to him, and they finding that the matter was known, took courage to put the question to him, and desired to have his sense of it. The Vulgate Latin reads, "who dost thou think"; and the Arabic version, "who in thy opinion", &c. The occasion of this could not be the respect shown to Peter, in paying the half shekel for him; for this conversation was begun in the way, and before this was done, or, at least, before they knew it: rather it might be occasioned by his promise of giving the keys of the kingdom of heaven to him; or by his taking him, and James, and John, so lately to the mountain with him, where he was transfigured before them; though it seems best to ascribe it to the mention Christ had made of his resurrection from the dead: for as Dr. Lightfoot, Hammond, and others, have observed, something of this kind generally followed any account Christ gave of his death and resurrection, as Mark 9:31 and this thought of an earthly kingdom still continued, when they saw him risen, Acts 1:6 for they had been taught, that the resurrection, and the kingdom of the Messiah, would be at the same time (x). And, by the kingdom of heaven, they meant, not the kingdom of glory in another world, but the kingdom of the Messiah in this; and which they looked upon to be a temporal one, though they call it the kingdom of heaven; not only because Christ often used this phrase, but because the times of the Messiah, and his reign, were frequently so called by the Jews; See Gill on Matthew 3:2. Now, what they wanted to be satisfied in was, who should be advanced to the post highest in that kingdom next to the Messiah; and, as they doubted not but it would fall on one of them, to have the most honourable post, and the place of the greatest trust, they were desirous of knowing who it should be.

(x) Vid. Poceck. not. miscell. ad. Port. Mosis, p. 103, 104, 105, 106.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 18

Mt 18:1-9. Strife among the Twelve Who Should Be Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, with Relative Teaching. ( = Mr 9:33-50; Lu 9:46-50).

For the exposition, see on [1323]Mr 9:33-50.

Matthew 18:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Greatest in the Kingdom
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2And He called a child to Himself and set him before them,…
Cross References
Matthew 18:2
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.

Mark 9:33
They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, "What were you arguing about on the road?"

Luke 9:46
An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.

Luke 22:24
A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.
Treasury of Scripture

At the same time came the disciples to Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

the same.

Mark 9:33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What …

Who.

Matthew 20:20-28 Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping …

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among …

Mark 10:35-45 And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come to him, saying, Master, …

Luke 9:46-48 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest…

Luke 22:24-27 And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted …

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor …

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness …

in.

Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Matthew 5:19,20 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and …

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom …

Mark 10:14,15 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said to them, …

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