We all want to be great. Everyone wants to win. Nobody likes to lose. But the problem is not everyone achieves greatness. Here are three steps we can learn from Jesus in achieving greatness.
1. Desire greatness.
The first step to greatness is to realize that desiring greatness is not a bad thing. Many Christians misunderstand the desire for greatness as pride. That’s why many believe that you have to restrain your desires for greatness to be able to maintain your humility. I believe this is a big lie of the enemy to keep us from becoming great.
When the disciples of Jesus were arguing with each other about who was the greatest (Mark 9:33-35), Jesus did not try to quell their desire for greatness. He even affirmed their desire to be the first and taught them the secret to greatness.
2. Be the last.
Jesus told his disciples “Anyone who wants to be the first must be the very last…” (Mark 9:35). This is a contradicting statement. Logic tells us that if you want to be first then you will have to fight for it. Being last will never make you the first. That’s just not logical.
I believe Jesus was challenging his disciples’ mindset. He wants us to see beyond logic and live from a higher truth. He is saying that if you want to be first, then you will have to put your own selfish desires last. What God values is not the person’s ability to be the first. What He really values is your willingness to be the last for the sake of others.
In God’s ‘world’, great people are those who unselfishly let others go before them. It’s completely the opposite to how our world thinks. Jesus told his disciples, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.” (Mark 10:42)
This is the way of the world. This is our common view of greatness. For us, greatness is lording over people. It’s all about having power over others. It’s about being able to command others to serve your needs. When you are rich, you can buy power. You can pay others to serve you. This gives you a sense of greatness. That’s why many people want to get rich.
“But it is not this way among you…” Jesus continued. “But whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43-44)
God’s idea of greatness is service. To Him, the greatest of all is the servant of all.
God has blessed us with skills, talents and abilities so that we can serve and bless others. These are not just for our own sake. So if you want to be great then you have to serve well.
Jesus, the Son of God himself—powerful and great in authority, did not come to earth to be served. He came to show us what true greatness really means. He did not just teach it. He lived it. He served people. He healed their diseases. He performed miracles so that people will be fed. He prophesied over people so that their lives will be restored to wholeness. He taught people the principles of heaven because he wanted them to be successful in life. Jesus’ motive for everything he did was service. This was the passion of Jesus. His love was expressed through his acts of service.
Question: Is your view of greatness the same with God’s view?
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