Who is Greatest?
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
I don’t want to overcomplicate this passage with too many comments, just this: the single qualification that makes you a great woman or man of God is servanthood.
Being superlative in the world’s eyes – richest, smartest, most popular, most successful – means nothing to Jesus. In fact, men and women who are smart, rich and successful have an unfortunate tendency to walk away from Jesus, saddened because they know they can’t give up their wealth, like the rich young man in the gospels.
Instead, you are measured not by how many people serve you, but by how many people you serve. And verse 36-37 reveals that as we serve others, especially those who need our help most, like children, we are in reality serving God.
So, if you are going to be good and successful and expert at anything, let it be your willingness to serve others. This may make you a failure in the world’s eyes, in your school’s eyes, maybe your friends’ and family’s eyes, maybe even in your own…but a great success in God’s eyes. And those really are the only pair of eyes that count.
1. How do typically judge if your life is going well, or decide that you are satisfied or successful?
2. What is the main influence in your life that tells you that something besides servanthood makes you great?
3. In what ways do you think you can serve someone who really needs help right now?