Who is Smarter?
By Dell Smith Klein
On the school bus one day Kelly and Kyle’s friend, Shauna, wanted to know which twin was smarter. Her statement that started out as a joke set the twins on a competition to see who could get the best grades in school. The competition got so bad that they wouldn’t even study together in the evenings. And then they started arguing with each other about who really was smarter.
Their mom set them down one morning talk to them about their competition. She reminded them of the story in John 9. The story went like this: One day as they were walking from one town to another, Jesus explained to his friends that he would have to die. That was a very serious talk. See Jesus came to earth to show people how to live for God, but he also came as a sacrifice and knew that he would die on a cross.
Jesus friends didn’t understand, and they started talking with each other because they thought Jesus was going to set up a kingdom on earth and they wanted to be a big part of his kingdom. So they were arguing about who would be greatest in Jesus’ new kingdom.
When they arrived in Capernaum, the town where they would stay for a few days, Jesus surprised his disciples by asking, “What were you arguing among yourselves on the way?” (vs. 33) They didn’t expect that? Maybe they thought they were being very quiet. But, Jesus must have overheard them. They didn’t say a word. Do you think they were embarrassed? (Allow the children to answer.) Yes, they were probably thinking, “Oh, I wish I hadn’t said that!” “Why didn’t I keep my mouth shut?”
Jesus did the strangest thing. He picked up a little child, and he sat down and called his friends around him. He said, “If any man wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all.” (vs. 36)
Jesus friends must have been wondering, “Servant of all!” What does that mean? A servant is a person who helps others. Jesus wanted his friends to understand that living for him isn’t about being greater than other people, or richer, or smarter. In plain words, it is simply about caring for others, and helping them.
I want to learn that lesson, don’t you? (Allow children to respond with ways that they can help others.) We can show that we care for others by helping them, and sharing what we have with them.
PRAYER: God, thank you for this lesson from the Holy Bible that shows us that it isn’t important to be greater than other people. Help us to share what we have with others and may we learn to care for them, too. Amen.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2014, Richard Niell Donovan