On many of the talent shows that you see on tv, when the contestants are asked why they think they should win it, the answer is invariably, “Because I want it so much” – as if the more you want something, the more you deserve it…
As they were walking along, Jesus disciples had been in discussion:
Who Is the Greatest?
33Jesus and his disciples went to his home in Capernaum. After they were inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing about along the way?” 34They had been arguing about which one of them was the greatest, and so they did not answer.
35After Jesus sat down and told the twelve disciples to gather around him, he said, “If you want the place of honour, you must become a slave and serve others!”
36Then Jesus had a child stand near him. He put his arm around the child and said, 37“When you welcome even a child because of me, you welcome me. And when you welcome me, you welcome the one who sent me.”
For or against Jesus
38John said, “Teacher, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of people. But he wasn’t one of us, and we told him to stop.”
39Jesus said to his disciples:
Don’t stop him! No one who works miracles in my name will soon turn and say something bad about me. 40Anyone who isn’t against us is for us. 41And anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name, just because you belong to me, will surely be rewarded.
Well, actually they had been arguing – about which of them was the greatest. They have heard all that Jesus has said about God’s new way, and yet they can still think who is the greatest among them is a sensible conversation to have.
But clearly jealousy and one-upmanship was alive and well…
But Jesus says, the way to gain honour, is to be looking after others, not our own egos. The way to be best, is not to push ourselves forward, making it all about “me”, or wanting the glory – it’s about looking out for the other person, doing what’s best for them. It’s not about putting yourself first, wanting what you want; but putting others needs ahead of your own.
This new way of God’s takes a whole new turn around from what we are used to. Are we ready for it?
Are we truly ready to put God’s ways ahead of our ways? For that is how we will welcome Jesus and his way of living into the world.
Tom Wright’s prayer for today (p 93):
the humility to follow wherever you lead,
with no thought for our own status
except for that of a servant