December 16, 2021 – Mark 9:33-37 – What is Greatness?

Today we are reading from Mark 9: 33-37:

33 Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34 But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35 He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

The disciples weren’t getting it when it came to the cross.  They were not understanding.  So now He teaches a different lesson.  They were arguing about who would be the greatest.  They just knew that when Jesus came into His kingdom, they were all going to get power.  Who would be the most powerful?  Who would be the strongest?  

Would it be the ones who were closest to Jesus?  

Or perhaps the ones with the most skill?  Or maybe the most cunning?  The strongest?  The smartest?  

They all had great arguments, I’m sure.  They all had great points to make. But we see that they still aren’t getting it, so Jesus teaches them another lesson, but this time with a visual aid.  Whoever is to be greatest must be like this child. 

Unimportant.  Humble.  Not great in the world’s eyes.  Not powerful.  In fact, the greatest among us, the most powerful among us is not something that you find by feats of earthly power.  Power in Christ’s kingdom does not flow from politics.

Or wealth. 

Or fame.  

Or any human measurement.  It comes from humbling ourselves and not seeking after human power at all.  We seek not power, we seek Jesus.  Greatness in this world comes from human things such as this, but it is fleeting, so fleeting. 

Greatness in Christ’s kingdom comes from humility. From service.  From laying down our lives.  That is true greatness. 

Today, what greatness, what power, are seeking?  Jesus’ or the world’s?

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