At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Matthew 18:1
You have to love those disciples!
In today’s colloquial, the phrase “asking for a friend” could have easily been tacked on to their question.
Just when you think the disciples were understanding who this man Jesus was, they ask a question like this. They must have been discussing it among themselves.
I wonder what their responses were, how they evaluated greatness in the kingdom: wealth, looks, good deeds, helping others. Those are the things I would have chosen, though landing on ‘good deeds’ as my final answer.
On the other hand, Jesus used this as a teachable moment.
His time was short and he still had so much to impart. Were they learning quickly enough? He knew their faith and understanding would waver. He had just enough time to teach them all they needed to know.
Then, advancing the kingdom of God would be on their shoulders, that is, with the help of the Comforter who would come later.
No, Jesus was right on schedule teaching His disciples what they needed to know before He left.
Similarly, God is right on time with answers to our prayers and requests.
We frequently assume God will answer in a nanosecond. He rarely does.
He still needs to set things in motion “behind the scenes” before answering that prayer, and almost never in a time frame we choose.
That’s fine because as long as He’s still in control, He’s in control.