Who is the greatest? Someone who has power and authority is usually considered great; all subordinates serve him. Jesus reverses the order by referring to his role as the suffering servant of God, who is willing to lay down his life for the sake of his loved ones.
Recall the time when James and John asked to sit at the right and at the left of Christ in his glory, and Jesus rebuked them saying: “You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all. For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:42-45). Instead of jostling for positions, Jesus enjoins all his disciples to welcome everyone like little children without any pretensions into God’s Kingdom.
Gospel • Lk 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.”
Then John said in reply, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow in our company.” Jesus said to him, “Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”
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