Sport is on everyone’s mind at the moment – and in sport we often as the question “Who is the greatest?”
It was the boxer, Muhammad Ali, who always used to say, “I am the greatest”. Certainly, in the boxing ring, few would argue with that. If you think about tennis players, older ones might say Bjorn Borg was the greatest of all time – some today might say Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal.
The footballing world has superstars of the past and the present like Pele, or Zinedine Zidane. Today people say the greatest is Lionel Messi of Barcelona.
Again, these are people at the top of their game. But the interesting thing about team games is that everyone needs to work in close co-operation. The reason Spain is such a successful team is that everyone works together. There is no player that thinks more highly of himself.
On one occasion the disciples had been arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest. No doubt, several of the disciples have had good reasons for putting themselves forward as the best candidate. But Jesus stopped them in their tracks when he took a small child and told the disciples that if they wanted to be greatest, they first had to learn to be humble just like the child who was standing before them.
That is a valuable lesson to learn, not just for football but also for life!