Jesus tells us in Mark 9 that to be a truly great follower of his we must put everyone else before ourselves. Jesus says in verse 35, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all”. This sounds so strange and yet this is the essence of the Christian life. It is totally the opposite of what culture and society tell us. The rallying cry today is “I am number 1!” However, Scripture tells us to consider others as better than ourselves, to look out for others, to serve others. This is the way of the cross.
In other words, God is looking for humble people. Micah 6:8 says, “What does the Lord require of you but to walk humbly with your God.” Luke 14:11; 18:14, our Lord says, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” That is a basic spiritual principle. Ephesians 4:1 and 2 we are told to “Walk with all humility.” Colossians 3:12, says “Put on a heart of humility.” James 4:6 says, “God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Verse 10 “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you.”
Jesus goes on in Mark 9 verse 37 to give us an example of what this looks like. He takes a child and lifts him. In Jesus’ time, children were maybe not even seen and certainly not heard, because they were considered to be the lowest of society, not real people yet, just children. Yet Jesus serves the child and welcomes him.
Mark 9 verse 37 says, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” What Jesus is saying is profound. He is saying that whatever we do in his name and whatever we do for him including all our acts of service, it is as if we are serving Jesus himself! When we serve others like this child or someone who needs our help, it’s as if we’re serving our Lord. We are welcoming Jesus, and in addition when we welcome Jesus, we welcome the one who sent Jesus - God the Father himself. Let us serve the Lord with humility.