If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all. Mark 9:35
Who are people who are usually thought to be first? You might
say the richest or the ones with the most powerful jobs, or the ones who are
famous or who star in movies and television shows.
Who are people who would be thought of as last? Maybe you would say people who are poor or homeless, or people who are meek and shy.
Jesus lets his disciples know that those who want to be first
will be last of all. This is a way of saying it doesn’t matter how rich or
famous you may be in the kingdom of God. If being rich and famous is most
important to you, then you will be last in the kingdom of God because you do
not put God first.
It is those who are poor in the things of this world who are put first in the kingdom of God because God looks out for the poor and lowly and cares about those who are humble the most. God chose a stutterer named Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. God chose the little shepherd boy David to be king. God chose Mary, a simple young girl, to be the mother of Jesus. All over Scripture, God chose the last person you would expect to be the first person he picked.
What does this mean for you and me? It means that we should not
seek to be first in the things of this earth. We should not run to be first in
line or the first person to get served. We should be humble and let others go
before us. Whenever we put ourselves last, we are putting ourselves first with
God, because he loves those who put others above themselves.
So put yourself last on this earth that you might be first in
the eyes of God. You will be blessed.
Jesus met a rich young man who asked him, “What must I do to be saved?” Jesus answered that question with a question, “What are the greatest commandments?” and went on to say, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness.Honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said in response, “All these I have kept since my youth.” “Then there is one thing you lack,” Jesus said, “Go and sell your possessions and give them to the poor.” The young man walked away sad because he had many possessions and was not willing to give them up. Jesus said to his disciples that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. We in our world are very attached to our possessions. We become so attached that they become our gods. Think of all of our possessions—our houses, our clothes, our cars, our furniture, our dinnerware, glasses and silverware, our phones and other electronic devices—consider whether or not we can live without them. Some things we could give up easily and others we would have a hard time giving up. Why? Because they define who we are in this world. They bring us comfort and confidence in ourselves. But why is clinging to our possessions not something we should be doing? It is because those things are not who we are and those things will all pass away. What we need to cling to instead is our Savior, Jesus, because Jesus will be with us forever. He will last long past our every possession. He will define who we are beyond what we are on earth—we are children of God, saints in heaven, brothers and sisters in Christ. We don’t hang our heads in sorrow but go forth with joy with our head held high.