Who Is the Greatest?
Adam Wade, president of seventy
…for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him. Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.” -Mark 9:31-37
Once again in Mark’s Gospel we find the disciples not yet understanding the message, mission, and identity of Jesus. It is important to note that this scripture occurs within a wider section of the Gospel that is enclosed at both beginning and end by the blind receiving sight (8:22-26, 10:46-52).
At a Canadian reunion (family camp) a table was set up in a corner of the main room with a community jigsaw puzzle. People would come and go during breaks or free time and contribute to growing the picture as it slowly emerged. Some would add a piece and walk away. Others stayed for their 63rd “just one more!” I was simply amazed that the picture was completed in just over a day. But never fear, there were plenty more puzzles still wrapped in their boxes under the table!
Which is the greatest puzzle piece? The corner? The last one? No, each one is important. Each plays a significant role, but no individual piece is greater than another. The picture is not complete unless all play their specific roles, shine their particular light, and are placed exactly where they need to be.
As the pieces of a puzzle slowly come together, the picture begins to emerge, and we see with greater clarity. The same is true for the disciples. The same is true for us. As we modern-day disciples learn, pray, share, and listen more, the picture becomes clearer for us, too. We find our part in the community, our specific role in the mission of Christ.
Who is the greatest? Well, it’s not really the right question to ask, is it?
“Be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants Section 163:10b).
This month, spend time each day noticing where divine grace is already pouring forth. Perhaps it is a simple awareness of creation’s systems and cycles that support our daily existence. The sun rises each day without being asked. There are underlying rhythms and relationships that hold the fabric of our lives together. Sometimes they fall into the background of our lives. We forget to see the natural generosity that spills over throughout our days-of the planet, the people we love, the Sacred Presence in all moments, the kindness of strangers we encounter, and the gifts we carry within. What is already being given in your life? What does it look like to be vulnerable to divine grace today?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.