Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.” (Luke 9:46-48)
The Footprints Of A Child
Pride is an insidious demon that causes more problems in the heart because of the elevated sense of self-worth above others. It is a common cause of sin that causes division, destruction and disharmony. The disciples of Jesus argued among themselves who was going to be greatest in the coming kingdom. They failed to appreciate the nature of the kingdom Jesus was telling them about because their hearts could only see the pride of exalting self above their fellow disciples. Someone wanted to be in charge and rule over the others. The disciples objected considering themselves to have greater honor above the one who imposed his will on the group. Who would take the reins of power and which one of the disciples would Jesus choose to sit on the right hand and left? Voices were raised as the argument continued to jockey for places of prominence in a kingdom that would never come. It is clear the disciples were not listening to what Jesus was saying because He never suggested His kingdom was of a worldly nature and the Lord never hinted one disciple would have a position of power over another. They were so filled with pride they could not hear what Jesus was saying.
The master teacher took a little boy and sat him next to Him. He was going to make an eternal lesson not easily forgotten by His disciples. Sitting next to Jesus was a simple little Jewish boy that had no concern for what the disciples were arguing about. His little mind was fully trusting in the care of his parents and the smile that crossed his face showed the innocence of a heart untouched by pride. It must have been exciting to be sitting next to Jesus and to be the center of attention. The disciples looked on with puzzlement. Then the words rang true and clear. Greatness is found in the heart of a child. Men who seek to be honored must first learn to possess the mind of a little boy that Jesus sat next to Him and pointed out to his disciples as proof.
Humility is the character of a child. They do not possess the poisons of a haughty character and prideful spirit. Children are easily forgiving of one another. In their minds they are not seeking the thirst for power or glory. Their hearts are innocent and loving. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ, the heart must learn first to trust in God, honor their fellow brothers and seek only the glory of God. No one is the greatest in the kingdom of God because there is only one who died on a cross. Jesus is the Son of God. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and He is the only one who receives the exaltation of preeminence in the Kingdom. To be great in God’s kingdom the spirit must be the least. Everyone and everything is before the heart of one who submits to the will of the Father. All men are indebted to the sacrifice of the Christ.
The church struggles with those who have not learned the lesson about the little boy sitting next to Jesus. It might do well for a child to be taken into meetings of elders as a reminder of who is greatest. Business meetings, church affairs, disagreements among brethren, family strife and every man should remember the object lesson of Jesus and the little boy. There are no grown-ups in the kingdom of God. All of the hearts of those who are in the family of God should possess the heart of a child. Greatness begins with servitude. To be great in the kingdom of God one must be the least. Jesus left the ultimate example of a child’s heart when He bowed to the will of the Father accepting the sacrifice on the cross. No greater love can be found among men than the gift of life through Jesus Christ. Without the heart of a little child there can be no glory. God has given so much and His Son left an example so that men can walk in His footsteps. If one looks very closely at the footprints of Jesus, they will find He wears the shoes of a child.