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Daily Devotionals

Voice of the Lord

Devotional for 3th of Elul, 5778

An argument arose among the talmidim [disciples] as to which of them might be the greatest (Luke 9:46).

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This argument involving Yeshua's talmidim (disciples) embarrasses us. How can men who intimately knew Yeshua—the one who embodies humility— argue about who is the greatest among them? The disciples seem hopelessly unspiritual, yet perhaps they are simply more transparent than the rest of us. We too wonder how we might rank if the Malchut HaShem (Kingdom of God) had a rating system. Perhaps such thoughts are not altogether wrong. If we are serving the Lord, it may be good at times to evaluate our performance.

The disciples' problem was that they had not resolved a more basic question:What is true greatness? Surely the criteria we use today—wealth, recognition, and power— are skewed. A woman once asked some sages what God had been doing since creation. Rabbi Yoseph ben Halafta replied, "Building ladders for some to ascend and for others to descend." God often humbles the "great" and makes great the humble. The disciples were climbing after the wrong sort of greatness, ignoring their master's definition: "Whoever wants to be first must be your slave! For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve—and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:27-28). Surely this example—in contrast to wealth, recognition, and power—defines true greatness.

...descend the ladder to serve others, rather than making personal comfort, prestige, and influence my priorities.


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The Voice of the Lord, Copyright © 1998 by the Lewis and Harriet Lederer Foundation, Inc. Published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources, All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this article may be reproduced in print or on the web, or transmitted in any form, without the written permission of the publisher.

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Tuesday, August 14th, 2018
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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