Luke 9:48 Then Jesus said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all--he is the greatest." (NIV)
One of the earliest images of Jesus that most of us have, is usually of Him playing with and surrounded by children. Most church nurseries have pictures hanging on their walls with similar drawings. The best picture that I have ever seen was in an old Scottish Church where Jesus was encircled by children who came from all over the world, all wearing their national and ethnic costumes.
We may not know it, but Christ upgraded the importance of children through His teachings. In His day, children were usually considered to be of little importance and their fathers had the authoritative right to fully direct their future. Indeed, in some Roman families, the father had the power of life and death over their children for their entire lives.
When Jesus brought the little child into the midst of the disciples, He was teaching them a lesson about humility as opposed to pride, as well as weakness over strength. As usual, Jesus was turning everything upside down: in God’s eyes a little child was greater than an adult man. Christ was giving power to the powerless and a voice to the voiceless. He was exalting the least, as opposed to glorifying the best.
Question: Who are the least in our present society? How should Christ’s Church highlight their value in the world?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You constantly challenge us through Your teaching and example. The things and people that we think should be honored and exalted tend to be the very opposite of what You would consider. Help us to see the world through Your eyes, so that we may apply Your perception in all that we would do for You. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
John Stuart is currently the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask questions about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is John’s latest Palm Sunday drawing called “Palm Cross.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link: Cross.