“While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, ‘Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.’ But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.’ John answered, ‘Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.’” (Lk 9: 43-50)
In this passage, while His disciples are focused on their status and prerogatives, the God-Man is focused on one thing: His cross, before which He is “to be betrayed into human hands,” and at which He is to become “the least among all,” like the nameless “little child” at His side in that moment. And so this situation continues throughout Church History, even until today: We worry about “our” status, as to which one of “us” is the greatest, and as to those who do or do not “follow with us,” – while the Lord speaks to us of His cross, of surrender “into human hands” hostile to us; of smallness before competitive brethren; and of acceptance of those who “do not follow with us,” but are “not against us.” So He’s speaking of one, simple thing, while we are burdened and blinded with our many other issues.
Today let me let Christ simplify things for me, by His Cross. I let go of pointless battles with flesh and blood, and take up His cross-carrying way, which brings me peace. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me,” the Lord says to me this morning, “for I am meek and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Mt 11: 29-30)