I really don’t know where the phrase “all that and a bag of chips” came from originally. However, when a kid was boasting and bragging about what they could do or what possessions they had out on the playground, I remember other kids saying, “oh, well you think you are all that and a bag of chips”. As we all evaluate the things that we are capable of, the things that we’ve accomplished, and the things we own, it is easy to begin to think we are somebody or something. I say “we all” because I believe that this is something we all struggle with. There was a group of twelve men, and these men were some the most spiritual people I know of. These twelve walked closer to Jesus than anyone else on this Earth. Of course, I am talking about the Twelve Disciples. Even these chosen struggled with humility. Today’s passage looks at a time where they actually argued over who would be the greatest in the Kingdom.
Then He came to Capernaum. And when He was in the house He asked them, “What was it you disputed among yourselves on the road?” But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest. And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Mark 9:33-35 (NKJV)
As I mentioned, I think this is something we all face. Sometimes, we see our talents, our financial status, and our accomplishments, and we think, “hey, I’ve made it.” The reality is that our talents are given to us by God; our possessions are blessings from God, and our achievements are by the grace of God. Without God, we are nothing. Still, God saw value in you and I, and He sent His Son to die for us. He does bless us and give us of His favor. I believe God wants to caution us today not to become prideful. Why? Well, pride does come before the fall. Perhaps these heroes of faith that we call the Twelve Disciples argued, “I’m a doctor so I will be first” or “I was a tax collector, so I received more forgiveness, which makes me the greatest.” We don’t know exactly what they said, but we do know that they were arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. I found it interesting that Jesus said that the “first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” This phrase “last of all” leads me to believe that He meant the VERY LAST, not just the last bunch or last few, but last place. Jesus did not only place the first as the last; He also said He would be the servant of all. Perhaps this means the lowest of the lowest servant. If the first is last, then it is reasonable to believe the last will be first. With this thought, I believe to please God in heaven, here on earth, we must see ourselves as last. We must humble ourselves and think of blessing others before we seek our own blessings. If we become the servant to all here on Earth, maybe that’s what it takes to hear, “well done my true and faithful servant.” This passage is Jesus teaching you and I to be humble. Let’s remember to serve those around us and put them first, while, at the same time, not boasting in our spiritual works. When we live out this idea of being the servant to all here on Earth, we will also want to run to Heaven with our laundry list of things that we have done. I reflect back to my favorite verse, Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Do your deeds in a manner that it brings glory to God and not you. After all God IS “all that and a bag of chips.” You and I are not. Everything we do should point to Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, grant us the discipline to be humble. Remind us to put others before ourselves and also to remember that all we are comes from you. God we pray that you will provide for us and lead us and guide us in our daily lives. Use us as humble servants for your glory. We pray this in the name of our Loving Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.