Who’s [on] First?
I love the Abbott and Costello skit where the comedy pair go back and forth about the names of baseball players on a team. The skit starts and ends with “Who’s on first!”
The skit is very funny, and it’s what initially comes to mind when I think of Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 19 and 20…
But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Matthew 19:30
So the last will be first, and the first will be last. Matthew 20:16
Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave. Matthew 20:26-27
Clearly, Jesus is calling His followers to serve others. Three times in a short period, Jesus tells His followers to pursue being last. This is so contrary to our society where everyone is driven to outdo and out-position each other. Jesus tells us to serve others and we will naturally (or supernaturally) gain the first position.
I’m an extremely competitive person, I strive to win. I strive to be number one. I strive to be first. Reading these words in Matthew a few days ago provided a great reminder for me personally. I’m sure I’ve written about it in the past, but it’s so easy to put myself first. When people ask the question, “Who’s first?” I admittedly want the answer to be Jon Stolpe.
Selfish. Prideful. Short-sighted.
Interestingly, the things we (I) strive for first place in are often shallow. They are things that fade away – things that don’t last. Jesus’ words point towards things that matter – things that are eternal – things that don’t make sense to the “Me First” generation. Great reminders for me today.
Getting back to Abbott and Costello, who’s [on] first in your life today?