“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave.” – Matthew 20: 26-27
How do you define true greatness? Some would say greatness is all about talent, ability, and accomplishment. A few years ago, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth won the Master’s golf tournament. Talk about great talent and achievement. Amazing! Right up there with Tiger. Others define greatness in terms of power, wealth, or responsibility. We see this in work, promotions, and even family. No area of life is immune to these judgments and standards – even the church.
What’s interesting is that Jesus’ disciples weren’t any different. They had the same mindset. They wanted to know who among the twelve was the “greatest.” Greatness in the first century was determined by numbers. To be a leader meant always making a big show of your influence – your number of followers. Humility of any kind was seen as a weakness when it came to leadership. Jesus, however, had a different standard.
“If you want to be great in My kingdom,” Jesus said, “It starts with becoming a servant” (My Paraphrase). Jesus wasn’t talking about a specific vocational role, rather a mentality that we all are to have – no matter our actual job title. This means that from top CEOs to the lowest paid employees, we are all called to serve others.
Thankfully for us, we have an incredible example in Jesus. No one better exemplified a servant spirit than Jesus, who humbled Himself to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the ultimate embodiment of true greatness in God’s eyes. Follow Jesus in faith and let Him lead you to true greatness.