Last is Great

He [Jesus] came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?”

But they were silent, for they had disputed one with another on the way about who was the greatest.

He sat down, and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” He took a little child, and set him in their midst. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me, and whoever receives me, doesn’t receive me, but him who sent me.”        Mark 9:33-37 (WEB)

It is passages like this that tells me that truly God can (and will) use anyone who is a disciple of Jesus. I do not have to be perfect!

It is so easy to look at the disciples’ behavior from over 2000 years of hindsight. “How could they argue among themselves when they were with Jesus??!!” “They should have been honored and totally awed that they were among twelve!!!”

Have you ever argued – ok, discussed with passion – in a church committee meeting? Have you ever been angry – upset – with another Christian because they did not agree with you on some point? (ouch!) Feels like I have just been dropped into Capernaum!

“But I have never tried to be the greatest!” Oh, but I have done tasks; done them well and never received any credit or any applause for them. It hurt. It was an ugly, truthful moment.

“If you want to be first with Me, Jody…you must put yourself at the end of the line and you must serve others. All others, Jody, not just people you like or even just people you know.”

Jesus did not say that I must go to some small, very poor country in order to be obedient. He said I must make a heart change and be willing to go wherever He sends me and do whatever He asks me to do. It is about my heart to Jesus. It is about the pride and how I judge tasks as worthy of my time and attention. And Jesus did it all to make it clear – “so can you, Jody!”

It may be easy for me, now in this century, to welcome children in. Children are important and primary in my world. I will give a child my attention. I believe they are the most important single group in a fellowship. In Jesus’ time – not so much. So what group gets little of my attention? Who falls to the top of the budget cuts? Take a look at the budget of the fellowship/church that you are connected. Look at the total. What percentage is put to children? To youth? To evangelism? To missions? Now look at the percentage that goes to maintaining buildings. Hmmm. What does Jesus think about that? Am I on point with the example that Jesus gave? That is worth some prayer time.

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