Today we get to read the story about “who is the greatest” among Jesus’ disciples. Mark shares this same event and we covered it at that time. Matthew shares a similar event, which we also looked at.
In the blog on Mark’s telling we looked at the story and how Jesus dealt with correction concerning this argument. We also briefly touched on the subject of the “path to greatness.” This blog was “Oh to Be On His Lap.”
With Matthew’s similar event Jesus was approached and asked directly, “Who is The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus answers this question by talking about becoming as a child. We looked at the attributes and attitudes of a child in that blog.
I want to focus on what the child actually represents (or what I feel he may represents) in this story. Our little child is the least productive member in society. You could say he is the least valuable in Jesus’ society. He has intrinsic value to his parents, but his current position does not contribute to the pocketbook of the family. He actually drains it. On the other hand, children were considered a sign of God’s blessing on a family. A childless couple was thought to be cursed.
The true worth of the child was a future worth. Sons to carry on the family name. Daughters to bring a good bride price. Older children were expected to help in the family business, weather in the field or in the shop. But small children did not contribute in these kinds of ways.
Please do not misunderstand me. Children were very precious and treasured, but they were on the bottom rung of society. Serving a child was the position of the parent, not the head of society, or the “greatest disciple.” That job was for the lower ranks.
That is why I believe Jesus chose the child as the representation. Jesus was stating that genuine service, with no expectations of return, was the path to true greatness in God’s Kingdom. Serving someone who has no means to enhance you, simply for the sake of benefiting the one served, is the key to God’s heart. Welcoming the child onto your lap. Stopping your “important” conversation to tend to the child’s need. Clothing the orphan on the street. Feeding the child in need. These acts touch God’s heart.
Jesus’ loves the little children. The most helpless among us. He watches over them and sees how we treat them. When we welcome one of His little ones we welcome Him, and we welcome the Father.
Service to a child also means training a child. God spoke loud and clear about that. Consistent and loving discipline is one of the greatest gifts you can give a child.
Thank You Father for my children. Please forgive me for the times I didn’t serve them with the kind of love You call us to. Forgive me for the times I should have served other’s children and didn’t. Help me to be Your servant, not to attain greatness but because I love You and want to do what pleases You. Thank You also for the love for children You placed in my heart. My service to children has been limited to my family’s children lately. Please help me serve them how You intend, even the extended family ones. Help me with my attitude with one specific child that challenges me. Show me how to demonstrate Your love in her life, regardless of her behavior. Help me be an instrument of peace in her life and in her family’s, if You so choose.