He who is least among you all ...

An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Humility is one of the cornerstone principles of the Kingdom of God. When I consider it I am drawn to what the Old Testament prophet Micah wrote many years ago:
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?"
Humility, like justice and mercy, are requirements of God's kingdom. These three are inextricably connected. One cannot do justly or love mercy without humility because humility puts another before oneself.

I love the way that Jesus used an innocent child to illustrate this principle and to define humility. To these who would be great the Lord says that it is not about them but about how they react to the least among men, namely children.

In truth, greatness is never about us but about others. When we love sacrificially we declare that another's needs are greater than our own and exhibit an uncommon brand of humility. If we would be great we must be least among all.

Help me to understand humility Lord in such a way that I live for others and not myself.


  1. I like that you kept that verse in its context. So often the interpretation of that idea of being like a child is described sans the context of pride and the argument of who might have earned the "greatest in the kingdom" award. Paul instructs us to grow up and not be like children in regards to our lifestyle choices and spiritual maturity, however here, like you said, Jesus is pointing to the unaffected nature of a child, his ego-less innocence and saying, "Be like him." Yes, Lord, help us understand this kind of humility.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Alyssa! So agree with your take on the passage. Being childlike has nothing to do with being spiritually immature.


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