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Who Is The Greatest?

Mark 9.33-37 ESV (Cf Matt 18.1-5;Lk 9.46-48)


33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 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.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

  • Friends when Jesus ask a question He already knows the answer and when He does, ask it's always to see where we are at according to His leading.
    • In Matt 18 we read of the disciples asking Him who is the greatest. In Matt 18.3 Jesus says “unless [we] become like children, [we] will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
    • And in Matt 18.4 He gives them and us the answer, “[if we will] humble [ourselves] like this child [we then become] the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
    • In Lk 9.48 Jesus tells us that “who[ever] is least among [us] all is the one who is great.”

Men always think the best, but rarely will they obtain the greatness they seek apart from Jesus.

  • See what the truth of God does - it silences vain self promotion. The disciples stopped their arguments because they could see the foolishness of it from Jesus point of view. (Cf. Lk 22.24-30)

Do we stop our own self-centeredness at Jesus rebuke or do we maintain our own self worth before Him. Our answer will determine where we at in our relationship with Jesus. 

  • We read in v36 that He “took a child”
    • This is Jesus He never puts us in a place where we need Him to drop the hammer on use instead He uses our situtations as a teachable moments. He uses the child teach them and us that greatness begins with trust. We shouldn’t be so concerned about what others are thinking, we only need to concern ourselves about what He telling us to do.

So what is Jesus telling you to do today? Is it making that phone call to reach out and mend a broken relationship, is it to stop wrestling with that issue and trust LORD on it, maybe it’s really simple like just keeping our eyes on Him moving forward in His strength. It's easy to become distracted about what really matters today. We get so busy running here and there; doing this and doing that, but what really matters is staying in touch with Him and being lead by Him.

  • In Matt 10.39 we read that when we lose our life in service to Him we find it.

Keeping Jesus the main thing in our lives brings everything back into focus. Let me close with this final thought;  William Booth English Methodist preacher and founder Of The Salvation Army said this,“The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender.”  Jesus only wants one thing from us today - absolute surrender and when we can learn to do then we're on the right path to true greatness - Amen.


Posted by Julian Ortega with