True greatness

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True greatness               

Luke 9:46 “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.”

Extra Reading: Luke 9:46-50.

This argument among the disciples about who would be the greatest highlights how they did not understand Jesus’ mission (9:45).  Jesus was trying to prepare these men for the suffering and rejection that would come. At the same time, however, the disciples were enjoying all the attention and even disputing with each other over who was the greatest. Their attention was elsewhere-glory, fame, and honour. So Jesus called over a little child-considered the most lowly person in first-century society-to show them their false priorities. Take time to evaluate your priorities.

Apparently this argument among the disciples was occurring away from Jesus, but they could not hide it from him (9:47). Either they ignored Jesus’ words about his death as they planned for the coming kingdom, or they took his words to heart and wondered who would be in charge after he had died. The argument may also have been sparked by the fact that Peter, John, and James had been singled out to be with Jesus alone on a few occasions (8:51; 9:28). The disciples were probably ashamed to have Jesus hear them argue, so they attempted to do so in private. They should have realized, however, that nothing could be hidden from Jesus. He was aware of their inner thoughts, so he used this as an opportunity to teach his disciples a lesson about the “greatness” abut which they were so concerned.  So Jesus took a little child and put the child by his side. This would have been a visual aid. Jesus suggested that he and this child were peers-“Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me.” Jesus equated the attitude of welcoming children with a willingness to welcome him. The disciples had become so preoccupied with the organization of Jesus’ earthly kingdom that they lost sight of its divine purpose. Instead of seeking a place of service, they were seeking positions of advantage. Jesus used a child to help his self-centred disciples to get the point.  They were to have servant attitudes, being not “childish” but “child-like,” with humble and sincere hearts. Greatness would be measured by attitude toward service-“For the least among all of you is the greatest.” True greatness means to deny oneself, willingly serve others, and then follow and obey the Master.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to become servants and not bosses. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Rev. Samuel N. Modise      

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