“What were you arguing about out there on the road?” Jesus asked them at dinner that night.
His best friends and disciples looked down at their plates and grew silent, because on the way they had been arguing about who was the greatest.
As a follower of Jesus I’ve had to look down at my metaphorical plate as Jesus has asked me the same question: “Kim, what are you arguing about out there on the road?”
Do my thoughts and inner conversations defend a desire to be the greatest disciple?
Do my words imply that I’m one of the select few (only?) disciples who really gets it?
Does my general social media activity suggest that I’ve been given greater insight and access as to the way Jesus intends to establish his kingdom on earth?
Does my typical attitude assume that I have spiritual discernment that the other disciples don’t possess and desperately need?
If I’m the greatest disciple, then you obviously can’t be. If I’m the only one who really gets it, then you – rather sadly – don’t. If my discernment and vision is perfectly plumb, then you need my help to bring your critical thinking into proper alignment and accord.
Father, forgive me. Lead me not into this temptation, but deliver me from the evil of wanting to be most great – even for the good of your kingdom.
And Jesus looked around the table at his faithful companions and said gently, “If anyone wants to be first, dear friends, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.“(Mark 9)
To be honest, I generally have have zero faith that this ethos will ever work. How does volunteering to be last place get anything important done? How does being the obscure servant, and not the influential leader, move anything significant in the right direction?
Lord, I want to believe you; help my unbelief.
Peace to you all out there on the road. And may the watching world know we are Christ’s disciples by our love, forgiveness, and preferential honor for one another.
“Last Supper” by Christina Saj. Oil on canvas