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The Greatest Among You !

dimanche 19 juin 2016, par Casimir E. CAKPO

“Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heat” (Matt 11:29)

Our Lord Jesus-Christ’s teaching on humility and more so his life in the midst of humans, show how He wanted his disciples to be as humble as he was. About discussions among disciples on greatness and positions, on many occasions he reminded them of the divine principle regarding greatness, regard and nobleness both in the midst of humans and in his kingdom.

This divine principle seemingly looks in total opposition of humans’ method translated in a variety of so called principles of personal development or leadership and aiming at making those who apply them dominant and champions… The divine principle, simple and efficient, has been dealt with in many aspects by our Lord in his teachings with a unique recipe : humility. As we cannot detail all aspects related to humility here, we shall briefly develop the following three :

1. Let the greatest among you be like the youngest.

….Jesus told them : "the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who leads like the one who serves…I am among you as the One who serves" (Luke 22 : 26-27). This principle which Jesus stated, which he incarnated and which he invites us to abide by shows that the main distinction, the true glory and the crown of all graces is humility. Jesus is calling on all those who claim to belong to him to clothe themselves with humility in all their relations with their peers by overlooking their title and rank in society ; to welcome and answer with humility and kindness to offenses and acts where they would legitimately have opposed actions to show that they are rather the greatest, the strongest. That is where the real greatness lies. “for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great” (Luke 9:48)

2. Whosoever wants to be Chief (the first) among you, let him be your servant (slave)

For Jesus, it is not enough to be the youngest ; we need to have a servant’s heart as well. After he had washed his disciples’ feet, Jesus told them “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). The need to give humility the first place in our hearts and lives is demonstrated here with strength through action and word from the Savior “But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister ; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (Math. 20:26-27). Jesus is teaching us that no matter what our title is, how expensive our clothes are, what our means are…, it is better that inside us, there be a heart of servant and a humble attitude toward our peers.

3. He who humbles himself will be exalted.

On another occasion, the Master will tell the parable of the host that is invited to sit in the highest room (Luke 14:7-11), to take a nobler and more considered place whereas he let himself attracted by a more discreet and humble position and He added : “For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” After telling the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus said again “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” We can see there an absolute law of elevation.

Beloved ones, here is in few words, God’s method to achieve greatness : get down low and always lower ! That is the lesson Jesus is not tired of repeating to his disciples who requested his opinion to know which of them should be considered the greatest or who wanted to be great in the kingdom and sit one on his right and the other on his left. “That’s God’s business”, answered Jesus inviting them to humble themselves before God and their peers rather than think of exploiting or exerting dominion over their peers.

Let’s meditate those words of the Master this week until our heart be filled of his thought and if we realize a great need of humility, let’s invite him to literally come and live in us with his humility and kindness.

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