A mother was preparing pancakes for her two sons one Saturday morning. Kevin and Ryan just loved pancakes. In fact, they loved their mom’s pancakes so much that on this particular Saturday morning they began to argue (as brothers will do) over who would get the first pancake. Five-year-old Kevin and three-year-old Ryan were not only fussing; they were also pushing and shoving, trying, each one, to be first in line and get the first pancake.
Their mother saw the opportunity for a moral lesson, so she said, “Boys, boys! Calm down! I want to ask you a question. If Jesus were here with us this morning, what do you think he would say?” No answer. “Well,” she continued, “I’ll tell you what he would say. He would say, ‘Please let my brother have the first pancake; I can wait.’ ”
In reply, five-year-old Kevin said, “Great idea, Mom!” and then he turned to his younger brother and said, “Ryan, you be Jesus!”
James W. Moore, The Best of James W. Moore:
Thoughts on Faith and Grace from a Master Storyteller
(Abingdon Press 2012) pages 21-22
Here’s a shorter version of the same story
A mother was making pancakes one Saturday morning for her two little boys. The brothers began squabbling over who was going to get the first pancake. Mom, as mothers often do, saw an opportunity to teach her little boys a lesson. “You know, if Jesus was here he’d say ‘My brother can have the first pancake.’” So the five-year-old turns to the three-year-old and says, “OK. You be Jesus.”
Source: Jeff Dietrich, Broken and Shared,
(Marymount Institute Press / Tsehai Publishers; 2011) page 295
“The Son of Man came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for the many who are held hostage.” –Matthew 20:28
It’s not just 5-year olds that come up with such logic. Although we may believe that Jesus has set up an example of servanthood – putting others first – oftentimes we too are a little bit like Kevin, waiting for the other person to be Jesus.