We think we are the most important
The disciples were arguing over who was the greatest. I think we can relate to that. We measure ourselves against each others. We compare and we compete. Mind you, Jesus had pretty much just changed the world order by suggesting that The Son of Man was destined to be betrayed and killed. Still the disciples were slow to turn that truth into something that really changed their way of being. So walking along the road that day they argued about who was the greatest! They must not have been paying attention when Jesus made that prediction of the passion that was to come! We have the same issue, though most of us have heard that it is in the cross that the truth of God comes clear, yet we still operate like we are going to win!
A child like faith
So Jesus takes a little child and places it in their midst. A living object lesson, but it is one whose point we might miss. In Jesus’ day, while children were seen as a potential blessing. They really were not given much place in society and surprisingly occupied one of the lowest rungs on the ladder of social status along with women, tyrants, and animals! So for Jesus to suggest that welcoming a child was akin to welcoming him was rather unexpected! I think we have come to value children so much that we miss how radical this point is!
Some things need to be relearned over and over again
If the disciples missed the point about how Jesus’ destiny was going to involve suffering and death, they certainly missed the point about children as well. In the next chapter of the Gospel of Mark is the familiar story where people were bringing children to Jesus to be blessed but the disciples tried to stop them. Jesus repeats his pronouncement that you have to receive the Kingdom of God like a little child. Most of us know the significant truths of our faith. The problem is that we find ourselves needing to relearn the very things we thought we understood! The Bible is one book that needs a constant re-read!
All are welcome!
In the words of the hymn, all are welcome! No matter how important or unimportant you think you are, you are welcome. No matter how much you might think that someone does not belong, they belong.