On the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all." Mark 9:34b-35
Here's an Associated Press story where the only question is this: who is the greatest hero?
A few weeks ago, Phillip Mains from North Platte, Nebraska, drove to the mall with his two sons, aged six and three. As he drove, Phillip passed out from low-blood sugar. That's when the hero stuff began.
Tustin, the six-year-old boy, seeing his father slumped over, crawled out of the back seat, sat on his dad's lap and started steering the truck -- a truck which continued to idle down the road at 10 to 15 miles an hour.
Other motorists, seeing the boy behind the wheel, turned on their blinkers and ran interference.
Eventually, North Platte officer Roger Freeze spotted the kindergartner's plight, jumped out of his vehicle, ran along side the boy and reached in an open window to throw the truck into park. The only damage to the vehicle incurred when Tustin scraped a bridge as he turned his dad's truck to go back into town.
Everyone's a hero. But who's the greatest hero in that story? I wouldn't be bold enough to venture an opinion. Everybody involved did something very special.
On the other hand, the Savior told us who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven: the one who is the servant of all.
And who is that going to be? Obviously, Jesus is going to be first. He, who left heaven to live His entire life serving and saving humankind, is beyond compare. From His first breath in Bethlehem, to His last cry from Calvary's cross, Jesus gave Himself so all who believe on Him might be forgiven and saved. Yes, Jesus is the greatest.
And who is in second place? Peter? James? John? Maybe. But I've got a sneaky hunch that when we get to heaven, we're going to be surprised to see that title given to some unknown somebody who, in total humility, gave him or herself completely to others.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You are the greatest. In every way, You are the greatest. Now, inspire us who have been saved by Your love, to witness to and serve others. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries