The Least the Greatest (Luke 9:46-48)

Luke 9:46-48


46 An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side 48 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.”


            The least is the greatest. You know, I think almost any Christian could quote some version of that statement. We all know it. We have all been taught it. Here is the big question: How many of us believe it?


            Let’s face it, we don’t like being least. We are far more like the disciples were in this passage. We want to argue about which of us is most important. Of course we know better than to use those words. But how often are we offended by not getting our due recognition? How often are we torn up in side at being overlooked, not given credit, not being seen for what we bring to the table?


            As I write this, I need to pray it through for more than I’d like to admit. I don’t like being least. I don’t like being overlooked. I don’t like being marginalized. And, not liking those things tells me that my heart does not believe Jesus nearly enough.

            Jesus tells me that I am honoring God most and being greatest when I am not worried about my position. The Savior lets me know that the way for me to receive the greatest joy is to let others have the credit. Jesus points out to me, as he does in so many areas of life, that the way to real success is not to do what comes naturally and battle for my own rights. Jesus tells me that I will be much better off if I will trust that God knows more than me, sees more than me, and is totally faithful to reward his children.


            This reading was no fun. But it was true and totally convicting for me. This is what happens when we open God’s word. We learn things that we should already know. May we become people who are willing to be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven by being least in the here and now.