“An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 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.’” (Luke 9:46–48, NIV84)
In Bible class I once asked why we have two eyes when the Bible tells us to walk by faith and not by sight, why we have two ears when the Bible tells us “He who has ears to hear let Him hear,” and why we have a brain that can reason and problem-solve when God says “My ways are not your ways and My thoughts are not your thoughts.” Since sin entered our existence it has affected our perception. Our natural senses are not inclined to see or interpret things from God’s perspective. Hence, we have lost our connection to true wisdom. A study of the book of Proverbs tells us that wisdom is not the same thing as intellect. Biblical wisdom is seeing, interpreting and acting from God’s perspective.
That is no clearer than in our verse today. The disciples were having this natural debate as to which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of God. They were looking at their great sacrifices and the works they had performed for the kingdom. Their problem? They were using earthly senses and reason to interpret something in the heavenly realms. Jesus, bothered by the perspective in which they were having the argument, came out and shared God’s perspective of the greatest in the kingdom. He took a young child and said, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me.” No fanfare! No great sacrifice! No great miracle or act of faith! Simply welcoming a child into the kingdom — that is where greatness begins. How important it is that we see things from God’s perspective. It’s not that the great acts of faith aren’t important. They are! Just not to the sacrifice of reaching out to widows and orphans.
We are the greatest in the kingdom when we are reminded always to reach out to the least!