Advent 4 - Year C
Oh, yeah? Well my little brother can take out your whole clan! So There!
That is one way to read the power of "the least". It is not the most helpful approach, but it does seem to be a go-to position in most cultures.
This is not the ascension of the youngest, Jacob, Joseph, David which comes as a surprise, every time. This is an intentional insult.
The power of the least comes out of its triggering of our memory, a surprise. We have become so accustomed to prestige being associated with the richest and biggest that have made ourselves immune to this sort of surprise. We keep forgetting to look in all the dusty corners for our next hope and only keep our eye on the entertaining flash in the center. May we not try to console ourselves by trying to predict a particular small becoming the biggest. We usually miss the real question and surprising resolution.
Of course this is a convenient passage to use to proof-text David's kingly return and Jesus' divine birth (ahh, the divine right of kings), but without that wrenching of the text for a power purpose, there is not much new here.