Friday, May 27, 2016

Luke 9:46-48

Luke 9:46-48
And a debate became among them, about who is the greatest of them.  And having known about the debate within their hearts – after taking a child – Jesus set him near them.  And He said to them, “Whoever should receive this child upon my name, he receives me.  And whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.  For the least who begins in you all, this one is the greatest.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I always find it interesting that the debate about greatness is told to us immediately after the disciples don’t understand the message of Christ.  In fact, I think this is meant to teach us about humanity.  When human beings feel threatened, we often react in bravado to cover over our deficiency.  All of the disciples just demonstrated that they don’t understand what Christ taught in the last section of scripture.  They compensate by filling their own hearts with aspirations of their own importance.  This is simple human nature.

Why do human beings react this way?  When are you tempted to react out of your bravado rather than confess your shortcoming?

Second Thought:

How does Jesus deal with human bravado?  Jesus grabs a child and sets the child among them.  After all, who expects a child to have life figured out?  Who expects a child to be best?  Jesus says, if you want to be great, accept a person like this into your life.  Isn’t this a neat call to discipleship?  If we want to be great, we need to receive people who haven’t got life figured out and then mentor them!  This should truly make sense.  After all, isn’t that what Jesus does?

Ave you ever thought of mentoring as an indicator of greatness?  How do you think the world at large would react to this teaching?  What about pop culture?  What about the business world?

Third Thought:

Jesus’ conclusion in this passage is subtle and easy to miss.  Jesus isn’t really saying that the least among the followers is the greatest.  Don’t get me wrong.  That is a message that the rest of scripture makes, so I am not saying that such a message is incongruous with the Bible.  What I am saying is that Jesus is making a different point in the Gospel of Luke.  If a person of least stature wants to become great, they need to begin the process of being a disciple of Jesus.  How does one become great?  One becomes great by becoming a follower.  One becomes great through submission.  One becomes great by following in the footsteps of Christ.  One becomes great by letting go of his own aspirations and embracing the will of God.

Have you begun the process of being a disciple of Christ?  How are you submitting to God?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 9:49-50
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