What did Jesus mean when he said "for he who is least among is the greatest?"


Luke 9:48

ESV - 48 And said to them, "Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
In multiple verses in the gospels, Jesus told His followers that greatness in God's eyes is different from the way that the unsaved world perceives it.

To the world, greatness is achieved through self-promotion, and recognition or acclaim from others. Those aspiring to be great think in terms of "making a name" for themselves by their accomplishments so that others will praise, applaud, and admire them (along with all the temporal benefits that may accompany such fame).

To Christians, true greatness consists in putting the needs of others above their own, even to the point of acting as a servant (or even a slave) to others (Mark 10:42-45). In this, they are following the example of Jesus, who (as noted by Paul in Philippians 2:5-8), although He was God, did not selfishly regard His station as God as something to be preserved or maintained at all costs, but emptied Himself by becoming human, and then humbled Himself even further to the point of undergoing an undeserved, excruciating, humiliating death for the salvation of humanity.

As Jesus Himself said (Matthew 20:28). He did not come to earth to be served by others, but to be a servant Himself, and to give His life as a ransom for many. Those who call themselves His disciples are to follow His example of humility and service to others.

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