“He told them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me. And whoever welcomes me welcomes him who sent me. For whoever is least among you – this one is great.” – Luke 9:48
Moments after Jesus predicted His death by crucifixion, His closest followers argued over who would be the greatest. We like to think we are immune from such silly and sinful inclinations, but the truth is we are not. These men were literally listening to Jesus and physically following Him on foot, and still could not get over voicing their hopefulness about their own greatness.
Several years ago I was profoundly moved by a message in which the well-known pastor preached from John 13 and Jesus’ washing of his disciples’ feet. The refrain of the message was, “You can’t do what you want!” Unfortunately, years later, this pastor made a shipwreck of his ministry by doing exactly what he wanted.
We do well to remember we should all take heed, lest we fall. This warning is replete in Scripture. Our hearts clamor after fame, fortune, and influence when Jesus tells us the way to the top is from the bottom up. We must be servants, count others more significant than ourselves, and even welcome the least of these to be like Jesus. How counterintuitive to this “me first” culture we live in. May it not be so among us (see Matthew 20:26).
“Father, please humble me that I might be further conformed to the image of your Son, who made himself of no reputation, took on the form of a Servant, and came to serve, Amen.”
John Blackmon serves as pastor of Meansville Baptist Church.