Summary: Some times it is great to be a nobody!
God Blesses the Little Guy!
"No one ever looks out for the little guy!!" Ever hear that before? It usually comes after looking at a tax bill or listening to a politician, but the attitude affects a lot of areas. It is obvious that the big guy or the guy with the looks, talent, money or power gets all the attention. Many studies have shown that men six feet tall or better automatically get better jobs. The dress for success philosophy was designed around mankind’s obsession with appearance or maybe better said form instead of substance. An attractive woman many times gets promoted even if she lacks the skills. Indeed, money and power can be had if you look like you should have money and power. While from a human standpoint it appears that no one looks out for the little guy, there is Someone who is looking out for him and the little gal. In fact, in the Kingdom economy the one who is little or least is the most honored of all.
46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great. (KJV)
The disciples were no different than we are. Get a group of people together in any organization and there is a power struggle. Someone wants to be the big shot or the one most honored and respected or just the one who gets to tell everyone else what to do. There is the organizational appointed leader and then there is a leader unofficially chosen by the group that is to be led.
Sometimes these two leaders are on the same sheet of music and cooperate well and other times it is an adversarial relationship. The group leader always instigates the old "us versus them" controversy. You know, labor versus management, deacons versus pastor or whatever the division is in the particular group. Sometimes the adversity is hot and livid and other times it is more of a passive aggressive situation. You always get a "Yes, Sir or Yes Ma’am", but there is always a problem getting a project accomplished on time or correctly. We have all worked in shops or served in churches like that.
So here we have the disciples debating which one is the second in command since Jesus was the Master. Peter was vocal and the first to declare Jesus as the Christ. John was closest to Him and was known by them as the one that Jesus loved. The others gave forth all their strengths and reasons why they should be the elder or leader among them. They may have gotten into a heated discussion over this. Peter was a firebrand so I am sure he lit a few fires in the discussions.
As in all our disputes and reasonings, Jesus saw the core problem and used a child to illustrate the true way to greatness in the Kingdom. The way up is down. Jesus came here for the little guy. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Son of God, the Mighty Counselor and the Prince of Peace who left glory to die for creatures that in comparison to Him were bacteria and bad bacteria at best. He came into the world as the son of a poor carpenter and was laid in a manger or cow trough. He was living as a poor, itinerant preacher and even had a fish provide tax money for Him and His followers. Yet, His followers were arguing about how great that they were when in their countrymen’s eyes they were only poor, illiterate fishermen. The sheer gall of it all is mind boggling until you realize that we do the same thing.
This is why Jesus said they had to receive or accept this child in His name to welcome or accept Him and by doing so they also accepted the Father. They had to accept people that had no apparent worth or use if they were to understand Him and His mission. David asked, "what is man that Thou art mindful of him?" Indeed, sinful man seems so little to mess with and certainly has no worth to the Holy One. Of what possible use could man be to the Omnipotent One? Looking through the eyes of man and with man’s values sinful man is of no use to God except as briquettes on the grates of Hell.
Ah, but through the eyes of God sinful men were of great worth to the One who created them and loved them. They were worth reaching down and offering the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son to bring them back into a loving relationship with the Father. God could have just toasted the whole race and started over after Adam fell. He could have done it again and not bothered with Noah and his family. He could do it today. As Creator, He has the right to do whatever He wants to do with His creation. His love for man is what keeps Him seeking to bring man back into relationship with Him. He is not willing or desirous that any should perish, but He allows them to have the free will to do so if they so choose. He wants loving sons and daughters not robots.