How to be the Greatest! (Luke 9:46-56)


If you are visiting because the title enticed you, you are in the right place! We all struggle to do the best and to be the best at what we do!. This is commendable that we strive for greatness! We serve society well when we give the best of ourselves but it is the feelings behind these efforts that can hinder us. We all want to know that our efforts provide a meaningful contribution to the community, to our family and to those that matter to us the most! Everyday is a challenge to feel loved, valued, accepted and reaffirmed for our efforts. We want beauty, power, and love as in the eyes of most, this makes us number one. As a child, I wanted to be a princess because she was the prettiest and she got to marry the prince and together they ruled!. I don’t believe I was alone in this desire for power!. Weather we recognize it or not, we want to be number one! Our learning comes from Luke 9:46-56

I know that I am the best said one of the disciples for I have the power! did you see how I healed that guy in the village? He had been sick since childhood. No one could believe how I did it!. He had been paralyzed, had contractures all over his body and after I healed him, every part of his body was functioning, every wound gone and he was as good as new! I think I am Jesus’s favorite!. I am the greatest!. Well said the other disciple but did you see how I took the demon out of that girl?. The family had abandoned her and she was totally lost as far as they cared. It was as if I raised her from the dead. No one can do that unless you are the greatest! the number one!

All of them were comparing notes as to who was the greatest. Jesus’s number one!. They were even comparing themselves to another man in the village who was taking demons out in Jesus’s name. How dare he uses the Master’s name to do what he is doing? doesn’t he know that he is not “one of US” “ONLY WE CAN DO THAT” Jesus, did you see Him? tell him not to do it. Tell him only we have the power! You are ours and we are yours. Not him.

Jesus’s response to their pride was simple. He said become like this child. Receive each other in my name. Be united and as you receive and love each other, you receive Me and my Father and in our unity there is the Power. Once you unite your will and are subjected to me and to each other in love then you are the greatest! for you have learned to please the Father by allowing for His will in your life and not your own. and when you align your will to God’s, You may seem the least in the world but you are truly the greatest!. As far as the man who is taking evil out in my name, Let him!. Is he not in the same team? he is not working against you, right? Then he is for you! He is part of our unity!

Later, Jesus truly got a taste of what was in their hearts, which is found frequently in our hearts also. Sadly, we have such divisions and this is part of our arrogance that feeds on our feelings of being greater. (Please take a minute to reflect on your own feelings about this and pray for deliverance). We see people not from their uniqueness but from our differences. We are all part of God’s plan! Paul says:  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them”Ephesians 2:10 We may have different color of skin, hair texture and language but guess what? WE ARE ALL GOD’S CREATION!!

Jesus was preparing for His ascension and He wanted to visit the Samaritans but they refused him because they thought “He is on His way to Jerusalem to visit those Jews”.”If He is with them then We don’t want anything to do with Him”.The disciples then fired back, “how dare they not receive the Master?” “They are not one of Us anyway”. They were feeling full of power at this time, and they did not have to ask from Jesus. Never mind they could not take the demon out of the boy earlier in Luke chapter 9:40 but they certainly had hate to command fire from Heaven to destroy as they said “Lord, do you want US to command fire from heaven to consume them?.” It says Jesus rebuked them and He was upset that they felt this way. He said to them “you don’t know what kind of Spirit you are of for I did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them”

When we think of ourselves in comparison to greatness, we have to ask ourselves how am I aligning my will to God’s desires? Am I in unity with God the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit? What Spirit did Jesus say we are of?. He came to save lives so that no one would perish. He gave His life for that purpose. He put other’s needs first. Are we of that Spirit? Have we united His cause?. If nothing else is clear for you, this should be pretty simple equation. Jesus loves people and came for them to save them. He commanded you to bring the Gospel and love your neighbor as yourself. How you do this varies but do you place effort to that cause? He said for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”Luke 9:48