Jesus had just spoken about John and explained that he was both greatest and least in the kingdom of God. Those who had been baptized for repentance of sin understood completely. Those who had not been baptized for repentance of sin (mostly Pharisees and lawyers) did not. Not surprisingly, being among the "greatest" in society, they wanted no part in being least. They could look around the crowd and see the "least". That was not for them.
Jesus could read their faces and knew their haughty, judgmental hearts. In this verse, he introduced His reply. You can tell from what He said here that this coming retort is not going to be complimentary, and it was not.
The odd thing is that these Pharisees and lawyers preferred those haughty, judgmental hearts enough to not only risk, but also endure, the condemnation of Christ. They would rather embrace their pride, holding it tight like a treasure, than embrace Almighty God, wrapped in flesh and standing before them! The Voice of God was about to speak against them, and they did not run for cover or cringe in fear. They acted as if it mattered not at all. How foolish is that?
Lest we have a haughty, judgmental attitude about them, we should consider our own attitudes. Do we "want what we want", regardless of God's plan for our lives? Do we ask for God's will to be done or for our own to be done? Are we willing to be least instead of first? It's one thing to be willing be a servant for a weekend, especially when friends serve alongside us. It is another thing altogether to be willing to be a servant for a lifetime, with only Jesus beside us.
Do I have a "willing to be least" heart? Do you?
Pray today that we would embrace the least and joyfully become the least, serving our Lord with all our heart, and that it will draw our loved ones to Christ.
Last night's link is here: http://leannahollis.blogspot.com/2014/05/ole-lou-takes-turn-snake-escapade.html