BIBLE READING: MARK 9
33 And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way?
34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
“WHO SHOULD BE THE GREATEST”
This has been an argument that has continued among us humans ever since Cain and Abel. It stems from the pride of life. The pride of life is how each of us are tempted in our lives. Much of our life is spent, whether you are willing to admit it or not, with you and I determining in our own minds how we should be greater. I know that none of us want to admit that, but it shows up in every area of our lives.
Take marriage. Many problems in a marriage are created because the husband and the wife think that their way is better, that they are right in an argument, or that the other person didn’t do what they feel they should have done. Every husband and wife will at times struggle with the question “who should be the greatest”, me or my mate. When we begin to focus on everything we think that our mate has not done for us, or has not met our expectation, we are basically claiming that we feel that we are the greatest. Somebody has to come first, either you or the other person.
In our family, at our job, and even in our churches, we all must ask ourselves, “who should be the greatest”. Yes, it is wrong, and yes, it is immature, but it is our human nature. Even the disciples, if you will notice, would not tell Jesus at first what they were debating about. Why is that? Because they knew it was wrong to do so.
Here is something that I found interesting. Jesus did not say that instead of being first they should put someone else first. If you notice closely, Jesus said that not only should they put someone else first, but that they should also make sure that they put themselves last. He said, “last of all”. Do you see that? Jesus said “all”. That means that Jesus said if you are going to end up being the kind of person that should be first, then you must be the kind of person that views “everyone else” above themselves. Not only that, Jesus also said that we should be “servant of all”. “Last of all”, and “servant of all”. Jesus never really started arguments, but he could always finish them. What is amazing is that if you and I view ourselves as the least important of everyone, and the God called servant of everyone, we will not have much to argue about. Is there a lot of strife and contention between you and people in your life? This just might be the root of it.