An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Luke 9:46-48
It seems to be human nature to want to be the favorite. Kids ask parents which one is their favorite and are unsatisfied when the parent answers that they have no favorite. We tell our kids we love them all equally and what they do not realize it that we love each one in a special way and each one just as much as the others. Maybe at times we may not like them very much and sometimes we may be dissatisfied with them but the love is always there. The disciples are no different. They too want to know who Jesus’ favorite was. Who was the greatest of the twelve?
What does Jesus do? He hugs a child and uses the moment as a teaching moment. And in this saying every parent is told what they need to do, receive their children in Jesus name. We need to make sure that our children know about Jesus, know who Jesus is and accept and follow Jesus. Nothing else we do as parents will be as important. Yes we are to cloth and feed them and take care of them. Yes we are to educate them and love them. But our most important act of love to our children is to introduce them to God.
The Jesus tells His disciples something that His life exemplified, “who is least among you all is the one who is great.” Jesus came to serve not seek power. The best example is when Jesus washed the disciple’s feet before the final Passover meal. Foot washing was a Jewish custom before a meal and it was always performed by the lowliest servant. Even though equal Jesus the Son was subservient to God the Father. But, and I think this is the most important part; Jesus was willingly subservient to the Father. If we serve only because we have to or because we want to make a show of our humbleness then we have missed Jesus’ point.
Humanity was created to serve, love and worship God. But we were not created so we have to do those things. God wants us to do them because we want to do them. The funny thing is that when we serve others we gain more than we give. There is a satisfaction we get when we willingly serve that cannot be achieved any other way. I think the reason is that when we do so we are as close to imitating Jesus as we will ever get.
Have a blessed day,