Jesus Again Foretells His Death, Who Is the Greatest?
by Carla Gray
It was Easter week 2017. My family had rented a small house on the island of Møn, Denmark, about 500 feet from the southern shore of the Baltic Sea. Møn is most known for its white chalk cliffs, its dark sky, and views of the Milky Way.
Void of light pollution, once the sun goes down, the atmosphere of stars not only takes your breath away, but it acts as your guide to evening exploration. We stood outside, bundled in blankets during the cool night, and looked up at the sky. There must have been a million stars in sight as we spun around for a panoramic view. It was more mesmerizing than any photo online.
Everyone went inside to sleep. I stood at the back door to gaze at the darkness again, staring until my knees hurt and my feet cramped. I couldn’t get enough. God felt too close to turn away. As I looked into the vastness of the universe, I realized how small a part of the world I really am. Nudged by God, peace came knowing I didn’t need to be great, I needed to be His. He is greatest.
When was the last time you were truly amazed? Today, I can picture that sky like I’m still under that umbrella of stars. I’m amazed not only by God’s creation, but also His imagination to conceive such beauty, speak it, and make it so.
In verse 46, the disciples turn from the majesty and marvel of Jesus’ works. Maybe they feel a tinge of insecurity. They argue, comparing themselves to determine who was greatest. How relevant for today. We race to the top, to earn that title, be that expert, to be revered and respected by our peers, and to build a legacy. How quickly we forget our duty, and honor, is to build the legacy of Christ.
It’s easy to get caught up in wanting our work and time on earth to mean something. Oftentimes, we get sidetracked and make it about us. Thankfully, we have a benevolent God. We will never measure up and God doesn’t ask us to. Instead, verse 47 tells us Jesus knew the reasoning of their hearts.
Throughout the New Testament, Jesus calls us to a life of humility, to give up everything, follow him, and love one another. He will lift us up in his time (James 4:10), if we fix our eyes on him and do not lose sight. For, “If we have not died to ourselves, [and given all to Christ] …, how can we do what’s best for others?” (Martin Luther, Faith Alone)
Dear Heavenly Father, open our hearts and minds to the calling of humility. Give us wisdom and strength to hold our tongues when our words are meant to stroke our own ego and not give glory to Thee. Thank you for your divine majesty and the creation you have given us to enjoy. May we not forget our place in this world, nor yours. Amen.
Carla Gray’s pilgrimage with The Falls Church Anglican started 11 years ago, alongside her husband, Michael, and their two children, Thomas and Anna. She is an active member of the Flower Guild, a regular volunteer in Women’s Ministry, and excited to be part of what God has planned for the church.