And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Reading how Jesus answers the disciples concerns about greatness reminds me that genuine spiritual life is all about humility. The definition of humility that I most resonate with says that the heart of it is to care about others more than yourself. I believe that this is what Jesus is teaching us when he says the first must be last.. the greatest must be the humblest.
In our world of fleshly pride and ego this is a message that falls on deaf ears. Even in the church we see many who seek to be great ministering to adults from whom they can receive praise rather than ministering to children who are often ungrateful. Makes me wonder if, apart from parental needs for child care, there would be any children's ministry at all.
I desire to be first Lord. Help me to deny that desire and pick up my cross today.