Teaching children to say "please" and "thank you" seems an unending task. More challenging is to teach them to share – a matter of Christ-like living. But what about teaching adults?
Twelve disciples spent three and a half years with the very Son of God as Teacher!
As they passed through Galilee, Jesus was telling His disciples about His upcoming death and resurrection. The disciples didn't grasp nor even try to clarify the information (Mark 9:30-32). Perhaps that was because of what occupied their thoughts. "And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest" verses 33, 34.
The patience of Jesus is amazing. It was sinful pride He was dealing with in His select followers who had been exposed to all His teachings as well as His example of Godly living! What did Jesus do? He simply gave them a principle to live by accompanied by a practical application. "He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me" verses 35-37. Did they learn the lesson?
At the last supper, just before His crucifixion, it is recorded in Luke 22:24, "And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest." Stopping here in the account, one could consider Jesus' best option to write off those twelve. He didn't. "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart" 1 Samuel 16:7. Jesus saw beyond their present repeated sin to what they could be, and He was not disappointed.
We can be so grateful for His equally longsuffering work with us. May we learn from Him to extend the same grace to others.