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Summary: A study of the Gospel of Luke 9: 43 – 48

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Luke 9: 43 – 48

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43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying. 46 Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. 47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a little child and set him by Him, 48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all will be great.”

Both Matthew and Mark also comment on this teaching by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s see what they reported.

Matthew 18:1-5, “18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.”

Mark 9:33-37, “33 Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. 35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”

Mohammed Ali as a boxer would proclaim that he was the greatest of all. Now a shriveled up old man suffering from Parkinson’s Disease he has come to a humbling end of his life and has learned first hand that he is not the greatest of all. We all know that there is only One Who Was, Is, and ever shall be the ‘Greatest’ of all. He Is our Supreme Jehovah Elyon – The Lord Most High – and He does not share that ‘Glory’ with anyone.

I wonder who started the argument on who is the greatest of all the apostles. Was it Peter? Hey, after all he was the one who heard the voice of the Father Who declared that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Promised Holy One Anointed for the Salvation of mankind.

I believe that the argument was stirred up by James and John. For we will see that they ask this after the Lord has informed the disciples that He was going to be handed over to the religious henchmen and that He would be put to death. We have already read in today’s study,

43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples, 44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.”

We know that James and John with a little help from their mother went to the Lord and asked to be the top guys in the Lord’s kingdom. You don’t remember that happening, well let us look at the Gospel of Matthew chapter 20, “17 Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, 18 “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, 19 and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again.” 20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” 22 But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” 23 So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.”

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