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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Least Among us Are the Greatest; Welcoming the Children

Today's Reading:
  • Luke 9:28 - 50
  • Psalm 73:1 - 28
Read Bible Passages Online

Luke 9:28 - 50
"Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me.  Whoever is the least among you is the greatest."
This quote is verse 9:28 and is spoken by Jesus to his disciples.  The disciples had been arguing over who was the greatest disciple, and this was Jesus' response to their argument.  On the surface this verse seems to say (to me anyways) that those who welcome the children -- the innocent, the mold-able --  in the name of Jesus welcomes him.  Well, that most certainly would be true.

My study bible points out something more to this verse.  It says that in Jesus' day, children were viewed as their parent's property and had no social status within the community.  Hence children were being compared to the lowest and most vulnerable children in the community. 

Just like Jesus befriended the tax collectors and other people of lowly status in his time, so must we remember that the people we deem to be lowly -- prisoners, the homeless, people with addiction problems, people on welfare, people who are straight out disagreeable -- these are the people that Jesus wants us to reach.  It's a beautiful thing to be able to worship with Christians in church on Sunday, to hang out with them during the week, and to socialize with them.  Beyond that, however, we have to remember to show the love of Jesus to those we are most inclined to turn away from. 

Psalm 73:1 - 28
This is the first Psalm in the third book of Psalms.  It is a psalm of Asaph -- a person I do not yet know anything about.  The psalm speaks from the heart of a person who is trying to understand why the wicked prosper and the godly struggle. 

The writer of this psalm says that he used to envy the wicked and struggled not to abandon the Lord.  In the end, however, he realized that the destiny of those boastful, wealthy, wicked people was nothing but a path to destruction. 

This psalm was a great reminder that we are not alone in our struggles of remaining close to the Lord while the seemingly unworthy people prosper.  Let this psalm serve as a reminder that this is not just a problem of our day, and we are not the only ones to struggle with this.  The path of those who are wicked always leads to destruction -- always.  Our path leads to eternal life.  And to quote Jesus in verse 9:28 listed above: "Whoever is the least among you is the greatest."  The inverse to that implies that the seemingly greatest are the ones who are the least among us.

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