First or Last?
“If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Then He took a little child, and set him in the midst of them.” - Mark 9:35-36
This statement of Jesus seems so contrary to human nature, for all of us desire to excel and to be successful. From the time we go to school we desire to be first, to be top of the class. When a race is run there is little honour in coming last. Each contestant desires to win and take the prize.
But in the Kingdom of God things are different. Jesus repeated this lesson many times in various places and in different ways. He constantly exemplified this truth in His own life and relationship with others
When one becomes self-centred and proud there is a real danger of a fall because the Bible says “pride comes before a fall.” Desiring to be first in God’s kingdom will see you end up last because of pride.
Children were attracted to Jesus and He wanted to be with them. He illustrates humility by drawing attention to the simplicity and humility of a child. Jesus is actually saying, forget all about rank, position, pre-eminence and prominence, but concentrate on the needs of others.
Humility will lead to prominence. The higher you desire to go means the lower you need to go. If you want to be first you must be last, this is what Jesus is saying. The tree that is heavily laden with fruit has branches that bend the lowest. The most fertile soil is not in mountain tops but in the valleys. Maintain a spirit of humility and you will succeed.
Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be child-like serving You in simplicity. I delight in You and walk in obedience to You continually, in Jesus Name.