Sometimes Jesus must have felt like he was looking after a bunch of children! He’s trying to teach them the things they need to know – and they’re bickering about who’s more important that whom…
Jesus Again Speaks about His Death
30 Jesus left with his disciples and started through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know about it, 31 because he was teaching the disciples that the Son of Man would be handed over to people who would kill him. But three days later he would rise to life. 32 The disciples did not understand what Jesus meant, and they were afraid to ask.
Who Is the Greatest?
33 Jesus 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?” 34 They had been arguing about which one of them was the greatest, and so they did not answer.
35 After 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!”
36 Then 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.”
The very fact that being important and honoured is still an issue shows how little they have grasped of what Jesus had to say. Life is not about receiving the honour we think we deserve, it is about looking only to do what’s best for others, and finding our reward in that. In point of fact, no one is the greatest. We are all worthy of love, respect and honour. We bring that about by seeking to bring it to others, not trying to gain it for ourselves. In the grand scheme of ‘what goes around comes around’, if everyone looks to bring those qualities to the lives of others, it will come back to us anyway – not because we deserve it more, but because we deserve it the same.
The great thing about children is that they take things as they are. They just get on with chatting and playing with other children. They don’t want to know their postcode, parent’s wage bracket, where they do their shopping, or make of car they drive. They just accept and meet on a level playing field (sorry for the pun!)
I pray that I may stop being childish
– wanting the best place,
and things my way.
I pray that I may become more childlike
– accepting people for who they are,
not what they’ve got,
or have to offer me.
May I seek
not to serve myself,
but to serve others
and in and through them