The disciples still did not understand their place with Jesus. They expected to have greatness bestowed on them once everyone else knew that they were working with Jesus – the Messiah. The disciples were arguing amongst themselves whilst walking to Capernaum – Did Andrew claim to be the first to meet Jesus? Did Peter say he was the greatest among them as Jesus had said he was the rock on which Christ would build his church? Did John describe himself as the one whom Jesus loved? Were some of the disciples jealous that Peter, James and John had been present at the Transfiguration? How embarrassed they all were when on arriving at the house Jesus asked them what they had been arguing about!! The NLT version of verse 35 says “If any person wants to be the most important, then he must make all other people more important than himself. That person must serve all other people”.
Did Jesus come to earth to save the great philosophers and emperors of his time? No – he came to save the lost.
In Jesus’ day children were not important in the pecking order of society. Jesus reminded the disciples that the way they treated and valued children revealed a great deal about their hearts. By taking a child in his arms who at that time was thought of as insignificant and yet vulnerable Jesus demonstrated that to follow him the disciples needed to be humble and be servants to all. It is not wrong to be diligent or determined but if this causes us to push aside obedience and service then we can become full of pride and so will not be directing our actions to God.
Greatness is the willingness to be last in the eyes of the world. It is a lifetime of serving others in the name of Jesus Christ. It is a lifetime of welcoming the needy, vulnerable and untouchables of our world because by doing this we are welcoming Jesus and the living God to all that believe in him.
Help me Lord to value people whom others may neglect and overlook. Give me the servant heart so that I can be humble in your name. Thank you that no work in Christ’s name will go unrewarded in your eyes. Amen.