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What Does the Bible Say About..Least and Greatest?

In Heaven are there any classifications like the least and greatest?


Most people would have the same reaction to your question I first had. Most would guess that there will be no least and greatest in heaven. Most, apparently, would be wrong.

“At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:1-4)
“And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Luke 22:24-30)

In both of these passages Jesus says that the ones who are the most humble on earth will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. This fits with history, because Moses was called the most humble man ever (Numbers 12:3), yet was one of the greatest.

On the other hand, Jesus may not have been talking about heaven at all. He was talking about “the kingdom of heaven,” which is usually a term for the church on earth. If he was talking about the church and not about heaven itself, then we don’t know if there will be such classifications in heaven.