Text: Mark 9.36-37
Jesus concludes his “greatness” conversation with his disciples by bringing a child into the center of their circle. To illustrate what it looks like to serve those who can’t repay, Jesus holds forth this child as a symbol of a person who cannot offer status, wealth, or influence. A child is full of potential, but doesn’t help you climb the social or financial ladder—a child typically resides in the place of need.
Through this illustration, Jesus introduces the idea that the pathway to greatness is humility. A pathway lined with stories of serving and noticing those who might be considered “beneath” you. While every person is imbued with all the value of God’s image, our societal constructs have created space for us to see ourselves as “above” someone else. But by showing love to those you wouldn’t normally associate with, you honor God and instill honor in the other person.
Trying to “be” humble is often counterproductive. Instead, endeavor to notice and serve those who cannot offer you anything in return. As you welcome God into your day, consider who you need to notice and engage, and then take an intentional step to serve this person. This may be as simple as a warm greeting or an invitation to a group conversation. Set aside your fears and allow God to redefine you as a humble servant.