The disciples began arguing amongst themselves as to who was the greatest among them. How typical is this of the way that man thinks. This is pride, pure and simple, and as the saying goes, “Pride goes before a fall.”
The Problem with Pride
Pride is a problem for all of mankind, but especially so for Christians. It is one thing to be proud of an achievement or to be proud of someone else and to say “well done.” It is quite another thing to be puffed up by pride and to lose perspective on the reality of a situation.
Look at the disciples and their behaviour. They were comparing themselves with each other to see who was the greatest among them. Worse than that, they began arguing about it!
Think about their situation. what power did they have that was not given to them by The Lord? What authority did they have other than what the Lord allowed them to do? What could they do without the power and authority given to them by the Lord? Nothing at all!
If they had no power other than what was given, what did they have to brag about? In reality there was nothing they could say or do that made them any better than each other or anyone else.
Paul wrote later, “Not that we venture to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another, and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) This is pride and boasting of the type that the disciples were participating in. And as Paul shows, when they or we do this they/we are without understanding. That is, we just don’t get it!
So what do we do about pride? Jesus showed the disciples that those who became like children were the greatest in the sight of God. He said, “He who is least among you all is the one who is great.” (Verse 48)
To be great in the Lord is to be humble, not proud. Pride will stand in the way of a Christian for a proud person is not humble because they believe they can do it all themselves. We stand before God in Christ Jesus and in the knowledge that the ONLY way to salvation is through the gift of God, his grace and the working of the Holy Spirit through the death of Jesus Christ. We cannot do it ourselves and when we try to, that is pride getting in the way and pushing Christ and the Holy Spirit aside.
Become Like A Child
When we become open and humble like children we are in the place where we can learn and grow. Children are like sponges. They take in all things without ego, pride, arrogance or any of the other negatives that will stand in the way of coming to Christ.
The lesson that Jesus taught to the disciples that day still resounds today. We need to learn this same lesson and come to him as children. No one is any better or worse than anyone else in the Lord. You are no greater or lesser than I or anyone else. In Christ we are all equal. So as messengers and followers of the Lord, let us stand in this knowledge and give the glory where it belongs…to Christ Jesus who has saved us.