The Kingdom of God-Luke 9:46-50

Luke 9:46-50 “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 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 he who is least among you all — he is the greatest.” 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Luca 9:46-50 46 Poi cominciarono a discutere su chi di loro fosse il più grande. 47 Ma Gesù, conosciuto il pensiero del loro cuore, prese un bambino, se lo pose accanto e disse loro: 48 «Chi riceve questo bambino nel nome mio, riceve me; e chi riceve me, riceve Colui che mi ha mandato. Perché chi è il più piccolo tra tutti voi, quello è grande». 49 Allora Giovanni disse: «Maestro, noi abbiamo visto un tale che scacciava demòni nel tuo nome, e glielo abbiamo vietato perché non ti segue con noi». 50 Ma Gesù gli disse: «Non glielo vietate, perché chi non è contro di voi è per voi».

This teaching of Jesus comes at the end of one segment of His life. He sets out now for Jerusalem with the disciples for the “betrayal by the hands of men” (v. 44). In this account, the disciples begin to argue about their greatness in the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is about to be revealed and they need to be ready. It was possible that the previous narrative about the demonized boy still troubled them. They could not cast out the demon as they previously had done. Perhaps they figured the solution would happen with becoming greater and more powerful in the kingdom of God coming to Jerusalem.

However, Jesus set forth the principle that the greatest one among them was the one who welcomed a little child in His name. This attitude of servanthood was most clearly seen in Jesus who was willing to serve all people by going to the cross. In conjunction with this example of greatness, John was apparently distressed that others were having success driving out demons in Jesus’ name and believed that ministry belonged to the disciples exclusively. Jesus again reminds them that ministry in Jesus’ name should be complimentary, not competitive. People who want to be great will always express a competitive spirit toward others. Rather than rejoice in the victories won in Jesus’ name, John wanted to diminish their effort because they weren’t with his group. It was John’s preoccupation with his own ineptness that prevented him from hearing the lesson Jesus was trying to teach.

The point for us becomes obvious. How much of the kingdom of God has been weakened by our own insecurities? The need for servants of God in our world should triumph over any personal ambition we may entertain in our heart.

Pray with me:  Lord, I sometimes miss the lessons You are trying to teach me because I still dwell in past issues and pride. Help me to bless others and rejoice in every advance of Your kingdom.

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