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Matthew 18:1

    Matthew 18:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

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

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

    Webster's Revision

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

    World English Bible

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

    English Revised Version (ERV)

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

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 18:1

    At the same time - Or hour; but ωρα is frequently used to signify some particular time: however, instead of ωρα, three MSS., all the Itala but four, and Origen, read ημερα, day. Origen says both readings were extant in MSS. in his time.

    Who is the greatest - Could these disciples have viewed the kingdom of Christ in any other light than that of a temporal one? Hence they wished to know whom he would make his prime minister - whom his general - whom his chief chancellor - whom supreme judge, etc., etc. Is it he who first became thy disciple, or he who is thy nearest relative, or he who has most frequently entertained thee, or he who is the oldest, merely as to years? Could this inquiry have proceeded from any but the nine disciples who had not witnessed our Lord's transfiguration? Peter, James, and John, were surely more spiritual in their views! And yet how soon did even these forget that his kingdom was not of this world! See Mark 10:35, etc.; John 18:10, etc. The disciples having lately seen the keys delivered to Peter, and found that he, with James and John, had been privileged with being present at the transfiguration, it is no wonder if a measure of jealousy and suspicion began to work in their minds. From this inquiry we may also learn, that the disciples had no notion of Peter's supremacy; nor did they understand, as the Roman Catholics will have it, that Christ had constituted him their head, either by the conversation mentioned Matthew 16:18, Matthew 16:19, or by the act mentioned in the conclusion of the preceding chapter. Had they thought that any such superiority had been designed, their present question must have been extremely impertinent. Let this be observed.

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 18:1

    See also Mark 9:33-41; Luke 9:46-50.

    Who is the greatest in the kingdom, of heaven? - By the kingdom of heaven they meant the kingdom which they supposed he was about to set up - his kingdom as the Messiah. They asked the question because they supposed, in accordance with the common expectation of the Jews, that he was about to set up a temporal kingdom of great splendor, and they wished to know who should have the principal offices, and posts of honor and profit. This was among them a frequent subject of inquiry and controversy. Mark Mar 9:34 informs us that they had had a dispute on this subject in the way. Jesus, he says, inquired of them what they had been disputing about. Luke Luk 9:47 says that Jesus perceived the thought of their heart an act implying omniscience, for none can search the heart but God, Jeremiah 17:10. The disciples, conscious that the subject of their dispute was known, requested Jesus to decide it, Matthew 18:1. They were at first silent through shame (Mark), but, perceiving that the subject of their dispute was known, they came, as Matthew states, and referred the master to him for his opinion.

    Wesley's Notes on Matthew 18:1

    18:1 Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? - Which of us shall be thy prime minister? They still dreamed of a temporal kingdom.