Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” Luke 9:48
In a world obsessed with rank, power, and position, Jesus came into the world and flipped everything upside down. He set up a new structure and definition for greatness. In Jesus’ economy, those last are first, and to be great; you have to become a servant. He came into the world and showed us what greatness truly looks like. One word that summarizes Jesus’ teachings and ministry is humility. He was the greatest person ever to live, and He lived out a lifestyle of humility and called His followers to live humbly as well.
Jesus taught His disciples about humility in Luke 9. In this chapter, His disciples argued among themselves about which one was the greatest. Jesus knew what they were thinking and saw their pride, verse 47 tells us. In response to their arrogance and arguing, Jesus brought a child to His side and said, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest” (verses 47-48). Jesus was shutting down their pride and shifting their greatness paradigm all at once. He was teaching them what humility looks like. Those who were considered the least among them were the greatest.
Jesus not only taught about humility, but He also showed the world what it looked like. Paul recounts Jesus’ humility in Philippians 2. Although He was God, He laid down His “divine privileges” and, ultimately, His life for the sake of humanity to rescue us from sin (verses 6-8). When Jesus came, many people wanted Him to be a political leader who would rescue Israel from the rule of Rome. Instead, He chose humility. He came to serve.
If Jesus lived a life of humility, we, too, have to live in humility as well. Like Jesus, you and I are called to love and serve the people around us humbly. This Christ-like humility makes us different from the rest of the world and points others to Him.
Moving Toward Action
Take some time to read through the Going Deeper section listed below. After reading, spend some time thinking about humility. Feel free to look at other Scripture references about humility as well. After reading through Scripture and considering what it teaches about humility, write out a definition. Finally, create a definition of humility that you think summarizes what Scripture teaches about living a lifestyle of humility.
Luke 9:43-48 (NLT)
43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.
While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, 44 “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.” 45 But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.
46 Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest. 47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side. 48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”
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