Unlimited: The First and the Last
Jan 21, 2021 823
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,“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” (Mark 9:35–37, NIV).
Jesus confronted his disciples with the reality that the source of their spiritual weakness was their pride and struggle for supremacy. They believed that they were better than others.
This pride in their status had been engrained in them by their society and their religion. That was just how they saw the world. They were Jews, which made them a special people. They were men, which made them better than women. And they were, after all, the chosen Twelve!
Within their culture, apart from people who were diseased or disabled, children had the lowest status at all. You never recognised or welcomed children. Instead, you welcomed their parents, and again, it depended on how worthy the parents themselves were!
But Jesus said that for his followers, things are different. In fact, to welcome a little child is to welcome God himself. In other words, not one of us is greater than the one we consider the least.
We will never treat God better than we treat those whom we consider to be the least among us.
In our lives we all tend to rank people, even unconsciously, according to who we consider to be worthy and unworthy: people who deserve our kindness, and those who don’t.
– Eliezer Gonzalez
Eli’s Reflection: Think about who the people are at the bottom of your list. Strangely enough, they can often be some of the people closest to you. Pray that God will change your heart toward them. How can you show them love? Begin to pray for them.