MUSINGS – 2019 APRIL 07
TAKE THE LAST PLACE
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and had him stand among them. Then he said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Whoever becomes like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me. “These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck.
What was it that Jesus admired about little children that causes him tho say, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”? How many times have you heard that we must have child-like faith? I’ve heard it many times and even said it myself. However, reread this passage of scriptures. Do you see anywhere that Jesus said that? No and neither do I.
Let’s go back to the beginning. What was the question that the disciples asked? That’s right, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” This is the question that Jesus is answering. Jesus was pointing out that children had no standing in society. While the family might value the child, as far as the culture was concerned, children were no more valued than a slave, and possibly less. If we are to be of the greatest value inn the kingdom of heaven, we must be the least.
Here is how Mark records this episode.
Then they came to Capernaum. While Jesus was at home, he asked the disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?” They were silent. On the road they had argued about who was the greatest. He sat down and called the twelve apostles. He told them, “Whoever wants to be the most important person must take the last place and be a servant to everyone else.” (Mark 9:33-35)
All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Willuams