Jesus had been in the lead on the way to Capernaum… Walking on ahead of his disciples. The conversation kind of got started toward the back of the group. Swapping stories about their past, things they had done, accomplishments – even great experiences they had as followers of Jesus – things they had “done in His name and by His authority.” After awhile it took on the air of “one-ups-man-ship” – it got pretty competitive… like, “who is the greatest?”
They finally arrived at their destination, got settled in where they were staying for the night, and were just sitting around relaxing a bit… And Jesus just up and asks this probing question (I mean it was like he KNEW!) … “What were you guys talking about today as we were traveling?”
SILENCE! – I mean dead silence! You could have heard a pin drop! After a long, profound pause here is what Jesus said…
Listen… “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all!” And then he playfully motioned for a child nearby to come over, He picked up the child in his arms and said in so many words, “Are you willing to care for children? Are you willing to do children’s ministry? Are you willing to accept the task of serving them and meeting their needs? Because, “Whoever receives a child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me, but Him who sent me.”
Wow! As I read about that event in Capernaum today, I thought to myself, you know, I’ve gotten involved in some discussions like that! … Swapping stories that end up really being competitive conversations about who is the greatest… trying to impress others with my exploits and accomplishments. But Jesus that day really defined the “bottom line” of true greatness! Am I willing to be “servant of all?” Am I willing to faithfully serve wherever… whenever… and however needed… Even caring for children in the nursery instead of singing in the “worship team” … or something like that… Am I willing to be “servant of all?” Oh, help me Lord to learn the lesson of true greatness!