But Jesus knew [the disciples']
thoughts [when they were arguing about who was the greatest]
, so he brought a little child to his side. Then he said to them, "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest."
— Luke 9:47-48 NLT
Jesus turned the whole discussion of greatness upside down. Throughout history, most people have assumed that greatness is determined by status, position, and having others serve someone more significant. Jesus, however, taught and demonstrated that greatness is determined by serving those whom others see as unimportant. In Jesus' day, welcoming (that is, caring for) children was considered a waste of time by important people. The child was a symbol of those viewed as unimportant — only insignificant people spent their crucial time on kids not their own. However, Jesus said that a truly important Kingdom person is going to find the left out, the forgotten, and the neglected to welcome and serve them rather than trying to name-drop and hang around with the "in crowd." Greatness is about serving, not about status!
Father, give me a heart to welcome those who are left out, overlooked, and forgotten in my world. Please humble me gently so that I am not so full of myself that I won't help others in need or associate with those whom the world might not value. Make me more like your Son. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Luke 22:24-27
- Romans 15:7
- Romans 12:16
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.