Greatest of all time (GOAT)

Posted: October 11, 2015 in TLCC
Tags: , , , , , , ,


A pastor and a politician died on the same day. The pastor had a very simple funeral service while the politician was given a pomp funeral. Upon arriving in the pearly gates, the pastor was expecting his reward. Lo and behold, he was shocked to see the politician in heaven. To make matters worse, he saw that the politician was granted VIP treatment, given the best house in heaven, attended to by many angels while he was ushered into a small house. He went to Peter to complain.

Pastor: Why is my house small and the politicians house big? I have toiled all my life and this is my reward?
Peter: Pastor…there are a lot of you here, and it is rare to find a politician in heaven.

While the story is made up, sometimes we serve and really think we are more important than someone else. We want to be noticed. It’s a problem we have since the beginning of time. For instances, when we have a picture taken, we look for ourselves first. If there is a buffet table, we wanna make sure that we don’t run out of food for ourselves (a.k.a…takot ma-ubusan). If we commute via the public transportation, we want to seat near the exit so we can get out faster, never mind if there is an elderly who rode, or any other passenger for that matter.

It’s hard not to put ourselves as priority. You are important but not indispensable.

Looking at Luke 9:46-48, we find we are not alone in this attitude. Even the disciples themselves felt the same way too.

An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.

Picture this out. The disciples were able to do a lot of miracles such as healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and they felt special. They were “the twelve”, separated from the 70. Hand picked by Jesus himself. Disciples of Christ.

A lot of times, we are like the disciples. We want our “rights”. We want things to go the way we want them to be. That’s who we are. At the very core, we are corrupted beings, but thanks be to God, we now belong to Him, and that is why we have the term “sanctification”. It simply means, the act of becoming holy.

A lot of times, our “human side” shows up, forgetting that we ought to be Christ like. Even the disciples, they were near Christ in terms of proximity. Three years of being with him, yet every now and then, they showed signs of thinking of themselves more than their master.

Here’s the question…what kind of attitude does the disciples have?

But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts…

He knew what was going on. Jesus Christ is perfectly acquainted with the thoughts and intents of our hearts. Matthew Henry said…

Thoughts are words to him, and whispers are loud cries. It is a good reason why we should keep up a strict government of our thoughts because Christ takes a strict cognizance (knowledge, awareness) of them.

We see an attribute of Jesus here. He is indeed ALL-KNOWING. He could hear our thoughts. That should make us be careful in how we think, or what we feed our mind.

If Jesus is all knowing, how then should we think?

But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side

Instead of lashing out at them, Jesus used this time to teach them a lesson. He places a child by His side. The disciples were arguing who would sit on the left or the right, but Jesus takes a child and places it where they wanted to sit. That must ended the argument.

A child back in their day (in the ancient world) had no rights, no position, and no privileges of their own. They were at the bottom of the hierarchy. They were at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants. Jesus was pointing back at servanthood. Slaves.

Usually, the guest of honor sits beside the host. Jesus placing a child beside him speaks volume. The greatest in the kingdom of God is the one The one who is humble and lowly of heart — who instead of asserting their rights willingly empty themselves of pride and self-seeking glory by taking the lowly position of a slave or child.

Some of the characteristics of a child that I could think of is…

(a) dependency – a child is totally dependent on his/her parents. No way on earth a child could survive on his own. From birth to a certain period, we would be dependent on someone to take care of us. We have to be childlike in our view with God. Depend on God at all times.

(b) learner – a child would ask questions over and over again. It is said that a child is like a sponge who would absorb everything they hear, see, taste, and feel.

(c) authentic – they say how they perceive things. They do not mask their words with flattery.

(d) humble – they are not concerned about popularity or status. They are unaffected by title or family name.

(e) courageous – they take risk and do so with confidence specially if the parents empower them.

(f) imaginative – The church needs to restore imagination. It is the catalyst for creativity, innovation, and passion. Children can think of creative ways in entertaining themselves even if it is just crayons and paper.

What other characteristics of a child should we copy?

…and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

The treatment we give to the “lowliest” in our circle is how we would treat Jesus. How do we treat those who serve us? What is our attitude when it comes to serving?

Our proximity to God is based on our relationship with Him. It is not based on how much time did we give in serving, or how big our offering is. It is not based on what we do for Him. May we have child-like faith and think of ourselves less. May we pursue Lordship with an attitude of a slave, of a child.

Humility is not thinking less of ourselves. It is thinking of ourselves less.

  1. pruningthetwig says:

    “Our proximity to GOD is based on our relationship with Him…. It is not based on what we do for Him.” Fully agree!!

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