Read Mark 10:35-45; John 13:1-15
Everyone has the power for greatness, not for fame but greatness,
because greatness is determined by service.
- Martin Luther King Jr.
Throughout history, great people are often measured by their accomplishments, power, and influence. The more you have, the more you have done, the greater you are. In Mark 10 Jesus offers a new paradigm for us to evaluate greatness. It’s not those who are on top who are the greatest, but those who are down below.
Jesus not only spoke about greatness in a new light, but He also demonstrated it. The night before Jesus was to be crucified, being the most powerful man in the room, knowing full well who He was, He assumed the most humble position imaginable and washed the disciples’ feet. Peter, also fully understanding who Jesus was, resisted Jesus’ act of service. But Jesus wouldn’t allow it. He demonstrated that greatness in the kingdom is not defined by the world's terms.
I’m repeatedly tempted to pursue greatness as the world defines it. When I do, I take on the mentality of a ruler rather than a servant. I start to believe that the world revolves around me and the people in my life exist to serve me. I grow impatient, demanding, and judgmental. I tend to think about what’s best for me rather than what’s best for others.
In offering a new way to greatness, Jesus teaches that abundant living is counter-intuitive to the way of the world. Joy and satisfaction found in accomplishment and recognition are temporary and leave you wanting more. When we embrace the posture of being a servant first, we discover that contributing to the joy of others is the key to finding our own. As you go about your day, seek to be great by putting other people first.
1. Who do you know who could be defined as being great in kingdom terms? What do you appreciate about them?
2. When was there a time someone put you first? How did it make you feel?
3. Where in your life today can you practice being great by serving others?