SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
Lord, help me to put my trust in You rather than in my own ability.
Read Luke 9:46–50
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.”
49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectFew of us will admit to sharing the same feelings as the disciples in this reading, but deep down we recognize the same insecurity. Let’s be honest as we bring this to God.
This is another situation where the disciples’ actions provoke a memorable response from Jesus. For some inexplicable reason, after Jesus has once again spoken of his impending death in Jerusalem (44,45), they start arguing about their place in the pecking order. This depressing need to be recognized and lauded crops up time after time in the Gospels. Meanwhile Jesus arranges for a small child to stand next to him and then says that true greatness among his followers will be given to the least powerful and most vulnerable. Moreover, when we welcome such a child, Jesus says we are welcoming him.
As an antidote to the self-aggrandizement of his friends, Jesus identifies fully with all who are poor and of no status. The power of his miracles and teaching; the drama and triumph of his final days in Jerusalem all flow from an attitude of complete humility. And once again we are left feeling uncomfortable. I have a profound need to be endorsed by others, but Jesus calls me to let it go and follow him.
Ambition and drive are generally encouraged in our culture, although today’s reading sees Jesus challenging those values. As we pray, we ask that the Lord will help us turn down the volume on our need to be noticed, and worship him.
Lord, help me to serve You in all humility.
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