Describe the story:-
The disciples were arguing about who was the greatest, but were embarrassed to tell Jesus this. But Jesus knew he taught them that ‘whoever wants to be fist must place himself last of all and e the servant of all’. He then uses a child as an example.
Explain how the costs of discipleship are shown in true greatness :-
- 2000years ago children had a low status and would not have been held in high opinion
- They were expected to be unconditionally obedient
- Jesus is saying that children are important and in treating them with love and respect the treating Jesus in that way too.
- This would be difficult for an adult to accept
- The disciples argue about greatness, Jesus’ response to them shows that not only do they have to give up status or “Wordly greatness” which they previously had
- They would also have to give up ambition of greatness hat is to limited to the kingdom of God
- True family – disciples will be expected to care for and love every no matter who they are/their status/previous status of disciple
- The disciples would have to have a change in attitude towards themselves and other (must be last and a served to all)
- Humility – being like a child (the idea that disciples can learn how to be disciples from children)
Explain how this teaching might cause problems for some Christians today.
- Christians today may find giving up ambitions and “worldly greatness” particularly difficult today. There is a lot of competition in everyday life, especially in employment and jobs. Most people aim to progress in their work and as time goes on be promoted and develop a higher status within their employment. This often means that they earn more money. It is difficult for many people to give up their ambitions as it doesn’t give them a reason or aim to work for.
- This teaching encourages Christians to change their attitude to become more like a child which adults are obviously not going to support. Usually it is children learning from adults, not the other way round. Children are innocent, pure and open-minded. They show belief and are often obedient to Jesus and the will of God, they non-judgmental, inquisitive and learn by example. Adults should learn to be more humble and not so proud.
- Christians also may find it hard to see the importance of service and self-sacrifice. Not only this but they may find it difficult to place themselves last as people generally avoid the feeling of worthlessness. Also, people may be worried because not everyone will obey Jesus’ teachings and so if they serve others and sacrifice themselves, who will serve them?
- Christians may also have problems in understanding the text in that Jesus’ teachings can be interpreted differently.