Jesus redefines greatness

What comes to mind when you think about greatness? To many people, it means power, wealth, or celebrity. Of course, those are the values of the world system but this is not the way Jesus defined greatness.

In the 20th chapter of the book of Matthew, we find a story in which the mother of the disciples James and John asks Jesus for a favor. She asks that her sons would be granted to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus in His kingdom. These being places of great honor, would place James and John in a position higher than the other disciples. I’m sure you can imagine the indignance the other disciples must have felt upon hearing this request. They probably thought the brothers of Zebedee had put their mother up to this.

But Jesus was quick to set them straight. He told them that even though the rulers and high officials of the Gentiles lord their authority over the people, His disciples were not to act that way. Instead, they were to demonstrate the spirit of a servant, as Jesus had demonstrated His entire earthly ministry.

Jesus told them “… whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28).

You see, having the spirit of a servant is the difference between being a guest and a host. Do you see an opportunity to help someone in need? Respond with love and action. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. In doing so, God will mold you into the character of Christ.

I first professed my belief in Jesus as the Son of God and accepted Him as my Savior more than 40 years ago. Since that day, I’ve never doubted that Jesus is who He claims to be. However, that belief didn’t keep me from living my life on my own terms for several years, which resulted in repeating the same sins over and over. In 2013, I became determined to make Jesus the Lord of my life. It was then that the Holy Spirit gave me an insatiable appetite for God’s word. As I turned more and more of my life over to Jesus and cooperated with the Holy Spirit, He has helped me break free of the sins that once enslaved me. Since then, I’ve been strongly compelled to share God’s word and to warn others that we need to get ready because Jesus is coming soon.

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