A disciple is someone who is a follower of a leader. He is a disciple because he follows the teachings and instructions of His master. The life of the disciple revolves around the lifestyle of His master.
A disciple learns from the master. His aim is always to be like Him. In Matthew 10:25, Jesus says that it is good for a disciple to be like His master. This is a great revelation in the bible on the way to be great like Jesus. Jesus is great, when our lives become like His, that is greatness.
In Jesus, there is no jealousy, envy, hatred and wickedness and in Him, there is no rivalry, competition and self-centeredness. He conquers with love, humility, forgiveness, peace and understanding. These are the qualities of greatness. They are the secret of greatness through discipleship.
This is because our lives as disciples should be properly guided by the teachings and life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus asks his disciples today to imitate Him.
The way to be great through discipleship is when we see ourselves as servants or people called to serve just like Jesus does for the sake of the salvation of souls.
Who is the Greatest?
After the apostles see the glory of God that manifests in the transfiguration and healing of the demonic-possessed boy, the disciples began to argue among themselves on who is the greatest among them.
In fact, the Greek word here is διαλογισμὸς (dialogismos) which suggests that this is a heated argument. The tempo of the argument must be so high that it brings the attention of Jesus Christ to them.
The first point here is that the disciples are arguing and fighting about what is not necessary. The way to be great through discipleship is not through competition, backbiting, and fighting each other.
Secondly, from these arguments among them, we can see that they are yet to understand that everything about the kingdom is not political.
And finally, what they are arguing for is not something one can win through argument. The way to be great in God’s service is not through arguments.
This is not when we try to show others that we pray more and fast more than them.
It is not when we show others that we are more gifted than them.
The way to be great is knowing that our greatness does not come from competition, earthly or ephemeral things. Our greatness comes from God. It comes from the service, we render to God. God crowns all our efforts.
Therefore, like the disciples, sometimes we fight and quarrel on many things that we do not understand.
There are times we fight among ourselves on things we do not even know how they come into existence and how they will go.
The truth is that all the things that we struggle to possess such as land, trees, animals are in existence before we arrive in the world.
So, whoever comes into the world meets them and will also abandon them when he dies.
Therefore, we struggle over these things, thinking that with them, we shall become great.
But in the end, we discover that true greatness does not come from material things.
We shall leave everything we acquire one day and return from where we come. What is the need for all these earthly struggles?
There are also times we try to compete, which is not necessary. Let us always remember that God blesses each of us with unique gifts and the best thing is to use these gifts and work for the glory of His kingdom.
So, there is no need to compete if we know who we are and the stuff God blesses us with. To be a disciple of Jesus is to count everything as nothing.
The Way to be Great and Our Interest.
The way to be great is not on the material things we acquire. Our interest should lie in how many souls we win for the Lord. It lies on how many families we heal of their broken relationship and how to achieve the kingdom at last.
In today’s gospel, the disciples seem to lose focus on their calling. In Luke’s account, this altercation also happened again in Luke 22:24.
Then, Jesus uses that opportunity to teach them that their call is not to become lord over themselves but to serve God and humanity (Luke 22:24-26).
Anyone Who welcomes this Little Child.
In Mathew 18;2-3 Jesus says “Unless you change and become little children you shall not enter the Kingdom of God but Luke simply says that Jesus presents a child in their midst and tells them that anyone who welcomes this little child welcomes Him.
This is an inference that Our Lord’s interest here is how we treat the least among us. To welcome them indicates hospitality, love and humility.
Therefore, the way to be great is through love, service and hospitality. It is when we become a burden lifter to people who are undergoing suffering, depression and difficulties.
The way to be great through discipleship is when we serve God through the poor, the orphans, the dejected etc.
The Way to be Great and Our Attitude.
The point is that how we treat the people around us or living with us matters a lot.
This particular attitude truly shows who we are. How we treat the poor and the downtrodden among us is very important.
Jesus exemplifies this by washing the feet of his disciples (John 13:1-17) asking us to bend so low in washing the dirt of others.
Here, Jesus wants us to recognize the image of God in others and treat them well.
Therefore, we are only great if we consider others greater than we are. Greatness is achieved in humble service. And Jesus reminds us in Matthew 25:40 that whatever we do to the least of the brothers among us, we do unto Him. ( Matthew 25:40).
There are many today who are neglected, accused, betrayed and forgotten.
Many people today are suffering. So, instead of seeking status for ourselves, seeking for position and how to be worshipped, we should go out to these people. We should identify ourselves with them and bring them to God. This is the way to be great through discipleship.
When the apostles reported to Him that somebody is working with His name, Jesus did not get angry, nor react angrily.
Therefore, in simple terms, in the race to be a disciple of Jesus, there should be no rivalry, no competition, and no misunderstanding.
So, let us always live in understanding and peace. This is the way to achieve greatness through discipleship.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to live in peace. May He continue to bless your efforts. Amen