Today’s Assigned Devotional Reading from the Common Lectionary: Luke 9: 37-50
Text: An argument arose among the disciples as to which one of them was the greatest. (v.46)
In security; it’s everywhere. It begins at a young age. Can a child have more than one best friend? What happens if your best friend plays with someone else or gets invited to a party and you don’t? The Smothers Brothers made a fortune over the schtick “Mom always liked you BEST!”
Many of our systems encourage a certain amount of insecurity. I inwardly chuckle when there is are multiple valedictorians at a graduation ceremony. Each one of the students worked hard, made sacrifices along the way, but still, I’ve seen one school have as many as 16 valedictorians! The television show Modern Family showed the humor in all of this competition in an episode where two of the characters felt ridiculous parental pressure to be valedictorian of a high school class. They even had a footrace around the school track!
In all three of the synoptic gospels we have some variation of the disciples arguing among themselves and even asking Jesus which one of the 12 was the greatest. Jesus placed a child in their midst and said that whoever comes to Him as a child is the greatest. In the eyes of God, the greatest is the least. The disciples evidently didn’t understand because no sooner had Jesus answered their question than John said, “Master, we saw someone who is not one of us casting out demons in your name. We tried to stop him but he wouldn’t stop!” Make him stop! On my, our childish ways.
As followers of Jesus we can have ambition. We can even ascend the scale of affluence and influence, but we must always remember that the higher on those scales, the more responsibility we have to God. Our ambition should be in trying to out-serve one another without keeping score and worrying about who’s serving more!
And boy, is that hard! My insecurity keeps getting in the way!
Lord, let me not compare myself to another or be envious of another’s worldly success. Let me till the field in which You placed me. Continually remind me how to be faithful to the end. Amen.