The wicked say:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.
R. (6b) The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.
Where do the wars
and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions
that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive,
because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.
They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
They had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”
Many years ago, a rider came across some soldiers who were trying to move a heavy log without success. The corporal was standing by as the men struggled. The rider asked the corporal why he wasn’t helping. The corporal replied, “I am the corporal; i give orders.” The rider dismounted, went up and stood by the soldiers and as they were lifting the log, he helped them. With his help, the log got moved. The rider quietly mounted his horse and went to the corporal and said, “The next time your men need help, send for the Commander-in-Chief.” After he left, the corporal and his men found out that the rider was George Washington.
Let us focus on three main themes in today’s Word of God
1. To be a humble person
2. To be a child
3. To be a servant of God
To understand humility:
American journalist Rheta Childe Dorr mentioned these words in 1866,
“The artist must be an egotist because, like the spider, he draws all his building material from his own breast. But just the same the artist alone among men knows what true humility means. His reach forever exceeds his grasp. He can never be satisfied with his work. He knows when he has done well, but he knows he has never attained his dream. He knows he never can.”
Augustine of Hippo, Theologian (354-430);
“Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.”
Lao Tzu, Philosopher (600-531);
“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
Humility is one of the Christian virtues. When you humble you heart and mind before God and others you begin to experience the inner power of the salvation of God.
There’s a wonderful illustration of this in the children’s story by Arnold Lobel about Frog and Toad. Toad dreams that he is on a stage playing the piano, walking a tightrope, doing all kinds of things. And doing them very well. Every time he does something, a voice booms out declaring Toad to be the greatest at whatever he has just done. In the audience is Toad’s friend Frog. Each time the voice booms out, Toad measures his greatness against Frog, and each time Frog gets smaller and smaller until finally he is too small even to be seen. Toad’s greatness has filled the room, and extinguished his friend.
Our humility is controlled by values
The first occasion: Mathew 20:20 – Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him.
We should not forget the incident of James and John, through their mother, have asked Jesus for places at his right and at his left. The other disciples are angry with them. What is Our Lord’s answer to all this? ‘Whoever has a mind to be great among you, must be your servant; and whoever has a mind to be first among you, must be the slave of all; for the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’
The second occasion: Mark 9:30-37 – They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?”
Two types of value systems.
- Worldly value system.
- Heavenly value system
The disciples were always struggling with earthly value systems. Each one wants to be greatest among themselves. The more they argue among themselves on who is greatest, is the moment they show that they belong to this world.
Jesus was trying to give them the highest value system, the powerful value system of heaven. Whenever we are fighting for ourselves, we must know that we are looking for temporary earthly benefits. And whenever we are ready to give up our life with extreme unconditional love and care that is the very moment we enter the real of the heavenly kingdom.
2. To be a child
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me
What is the connection between Jesus and Children?
You see the words of Jesus. Until and unless you become like a child you cannot enter into heaven.
There are so many references in the bible.
- Jesus was born as a child.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. (Isaiah 9:6)
- Jesus blessed the children.
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them.” . . . And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them. (Mark 10:14-16)
- Jesus healed a child.
“O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (Matthew 15:28)
- Jesus cast a demon out of a child.
And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. (Matthew 17:18)
- Jesus raised a child from the dead.
Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”And immediately the girl got up. (Mark 5:41-42)
- Jesus used a child’s loaves and fish to feed five thousand people.
“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” (John 6:9-10)
- Jesus said you should become like a child.
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4)
- When Jesus came, children cried “Hosanna!” to the Son of David.
The chief priests and the scribes saw . . . the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15)
- Jesus predicted the terrible days when fathers would give their children up to death.
“And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child.” (Mark 13:12)
- Jesus said that if you receive a child in his name, you receive him and the one who sent him.
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.” (Mark 9:37)
3. To be a servant of God?
- Thankful servant. “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.” (Romans 1:8
- A Prayerful Servant. “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;” (Rom. 1:9)
- A Submitted Servant. “Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey BY THE WILL OF GOD to come unto you.” (Rom. 1:10 emphasis added)
- A Giving Servant. “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (Rom. 1:11)
- A humble servant. “That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Rom. 1:12)