Greatness (Matthew 20:26-28)

“It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall 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

Jesus is the example for every believer. He Who is greatest of all came and took the humblest position possible; died the most ignominious death; emptied Himself of glory that He might impart glory to His followers and bring still more glory to His Father.

When I find that I do not want great things for myself, I am not troubled by it. That, I think, is as it should be. My concern should be to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God. I should seek to serve my brethren and to further my God’s agenda of saving souls. Anything that might happen beyond this is at God’s pleasure.

What, then, is the big deal? Well-meaning friends sometimes tell me that I should want great things for myself in God’s kingdom. This verse; this adjuration to service comes on the heels of James and John and their mother doing just that: asking Jesus for great things for them in His kingdom. Am I looking for greatness in His kingdom? Not at all. I just want to be there. I am well content to be nothing more important than a street sweeper. The invisible work is the best for me, I think, as it does not lend itself to being noticed. While I love to do things like teach and praise that — for good or ill — are noticed, being noticed is not the goal. Serving my Master well and earning His approval is.

For me, I am reminded that Godliness with contentment is great gain. I still do not want greatness — in the world or in God’s kingdom. I am well content to be one more citizen of God’s kingdom. While I may be nameless in the throng and press of those who have done great things for our Lord, I am not nameless to Him. And He is all that matters.

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