“He who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves” (Luke 22:26).
Raise your hand if you’re the kid brother in a large family.
If so, you have been given an insight into this teaching of the Lord that most people miss altogether.
Now, in our family Mom and Dad had four sons and two daughters. I was the number three son, born between sisters Patricia and Carolyn. Ron was (still is) the eldest and Charlie was the youngest. (Charlie died in 2006 and Glenn in 2014.)
Growing up, since he was the eldest in our large household, Ron took the role of the assistant father. Whether Dad established that rule or not and whether the rest of us liked it or not, when Dad was not around, Ron called the shots. Once when we were small, some relative came to our house and gave each of us a nickel. By nightfall, Ron had all the nickels. He’d traded or cajoled or something to corner the market on McKeever nickels.
As the baby of the family, little Charlie caught the brunt of everything. He wore the hand-me-downs and had little say in family decisions.
I still smile at this exchange between Ron and Charlie when they were something like 15 and 6, respectively. Ron called out, “Charlie! Come here.” The little kid reluctantly came near.
“Charlie? You my buddy?” The child, wise to the ways of his big brother, said, “What you want me to do?” I recall laughing out loud at that. (I would have been 10 at the time and already appreciated a snappy comeback.)
Jesus said, “If you want to be greatest in the kingdom, be as the little brother.”