Luke 9:44 “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
Luke 9:45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Luke 9:46 ¶ An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest.
Luke 9:47 But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side
Luke 9:48 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.”
I love the anecdotes that are recorded in the Gospels because they are the exact same kinds of things that happen today.
Jesus just cast a demon out of a guy that nobody could cast out. The demon would throw the guy down and bruise him up real bad to the point of him foaming at the mouth, and Jesus just zip-zap healed the guy. Everybody loves that. Everybody wants as much of that in their life as they can get, right?
“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.”
He might as well have said that He eats mayonnaise on His french fries.
Nobody got that the most important part of the life of the Messiah involves suffering. Nobody was ready to embrace the cross like Jesus was. Nobody had time to ‘let these words sink in” because they were too excited about Jesus’ power to cast out demons or to light up like lightning while He talked to Moses and Elijah!
Let us not fall into those same traps today. The disciples took this opportunity to argue about who was the best out of all of them. We don’t need a list of examples of how we can be in the same contest.
Instead, look at the example Jesus gives: “whoever receives a child in my name receives me” Serving and helping children is one of the most humble and glorious things we can do. If you’ve ever had a 3-year-old hand you a booger, you know what I’m talking about.
I can’t help but wonder if these events are connected. The disciples, who were unable to cast out a powerful demon, were also trying hard to figure out who was the greatest. At the same time, Jesus, who was in the ongoing process of humbling Himself to death, had more power than any of us could ever imagine.
That would shine some light on Jesus’ final statement in this section today:
For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.