Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Luke 9:44-48 (NIV)
44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
Yesterday’s sermon focused on discipleship and in this passage Jesus’s disciples are arguing about who is the greatest. This seems reasonable. After all, we hand out “employee of the month” awards and honor the highest GPA in high school. But Jesus flips discipleship upside down. To Jesus, the “best” disciple serves and cares for the lowest and most forgotten. And who does Jesus use to illustrate this? A child! When you are at a restaurant do the children at the next table annoy you? When you are listening to a sermon does the noise of a child annoy you? When a child runs into you while you are having a conversation do you get upset? Or do you receive them with joy? Jesus is not concerned with our ideas of status, power, or proper etiquette. He served us by giving us undeserved grace. And he calls his disciples to follow his lead.