An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” (Luke 9:46-48)
In the Hallmark movie, A Royal Winter, Maggie travels to Europe with a friend and meets a man, Adrian. They are interested in each other until her friend discovers that Adrian is to be crowned the King of Calpurnia. Maggie’s furious Adrian didn’t tell her and blows him off as dishonest and arrogant. Then she sees him helping needy kids at the community center he runs. In Maggie’s book, Adrian quickly turns from the least to the greatest.
The apostles act like juveniles bragging about who was the greatest. I had assumed they were almost Jesus’ age because that’s how they’re cast in movies. However, most Israeli men were married by age 18. Peter was likely the only apostle who was married and the only apostle over twenty because he and Jesus were the only ones who paid the temple tax required at age 20. The other disciples were probably teenagers between 15 (when formal education for men ended) and 18.
So, who is the greatest? Jesus tells us it’s the one who, according to the world, makes themselves the least by serving someone of low status who is helpless like a child, a prisoner, someone on probation, or someone suffering from illness.
Dearest Father, help me be humble and a shepherd to those who need help. Help me not seek greatness but Your will, so if You elevate me, let it be Your power working through me to help others. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
6 thoughts on “Bible Study Devotional – Day 227 – Commentary Luke 9:46-48 – Who is the greatest?”
The apostles acted like juveniles because they were. I had no idea that they were so young. I just assumed they were around the age of Jesus. I thought Jesus was about 33 to 35. For the one who is least is the greatest has always been a favorite of mine. It reminds us to be humble.
I love that verse, too. One reason the apostles were so anxious to follow Jesus is because it was an honor for a man to be chosen by a Rabi for further schooling in the Scriptures. It was the equivalent of admission to college. The apostles were especially honored because most of them came from poor families whom the Pharisees would have nothing to do with. Fifteen was the normal age of an intern and 30 was the normal age for a Rabi (Pharisee) to accept an apprentice.
I heard you say last night that you weren’t much on History. Your comment was interesting history!
I thought it was interesting too. We all know that Mary was young when she had Jesus, but I was surprised to learn the apostles were only a tad older than that. I guess I like history when it surprises me!
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