Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900) or on the Cove Presbyterian Church Podbean page. You might also want to visit the congregational website (covepresbyterian.org) for more church information.
An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest."
John answered, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us." But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you."
Every now-and-then, I get a little full of myself. Of course, I recognize that my wife, a woman who loves me, would probably disagree, at least with the “every now-and-then” part. Anyway, on really good days, I see myself a pretty humorous. But I’ll tell you, when that confidence crosses the line into arrogance, I’m truly blessed to have a wife who not only loves me but is honest with me. You see, when I start thinking that I’m just oozing with charm and wit, she’ll bring me back to exactly where I need to be by saying something like, “You know, you’re not nearly as funny as you think you are.” And I’ll tell you, when I hear those words, my perspective shifts and my character returns to a humility level that makes me and those around me comfortable.
And you know, that’s really what Jesus did in the passage we just read. I mean, when his disciples were arguing over who was the greatest, he took a child. Now, it’s important to remember that in the first century, children were viewed as cute and cuddly. Instead they were on the lower rung of the social ladder. And so he took a person who lacked all power and who was generally ignored, and he reminded this disciples that this is the kind of person they should welcome, because in God’s kingdom, importance is measured by humility and the willingness to serve others. In other words, he simply told his closest followers that they were not nearly as great as they thought they were.