Who Is the Greatest?

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 4, 2015
Based Upon Luke 22:24-27

“Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:24–27, NLT).

The discussion of who the greatest is silly in my opinion. What is the standard of measure, and who supports that measure? Who is the best pound-for-pound boxer ever? Which U.S. president was the best? Who is greatest singer/performer of pop music? Who is the greatest poet, all around athlete, daytime talk show personality, Olympian, or humanitarian? Who has the greatest military? Which country provides its citizens the greatest opportunities of success? Who is the greatest person to live in a particular era? Is your brain on fire going through your private catalogue of possible answers? Don’t forget to choose a standard of measure that everyone will approve, while you work on that.

While it is true that answering the question of greatness and what qualifies a person or people as great is somewhat elusive in many ways, Jesus settled the issue of greatness as His followers argued about it. He presented Himself as the standard. The greatest among us is the one who serves. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but many of the things over which we debate within Christian circles and outside those circles would be settled, were we to really get this vital lesson. In the eyes of Eternal God who created us, greatness is antithetical to achievements, acumen, trophies, awards, résumés, scholastic advancement, and financial status. That is not to say that none of these matter.

The greatest among us is the one who serves.

But let me let you in on a little secret: They do not matter nearly as much as many of us suppose. All that we do, and all that we have, only rates in heaven inasmuch as these are submitted to God for His use. Thus, submission to God and yielding our all to Him is the key to greatness, no matter who we are.

My challenge for all of us today is to ask God to reveal to us whether our aspirations and past achievements have been given to Him in humble submission, or set before our eyes to incite us to claw our way up the earthly greatness ladder. If we want to be great, we must receive the humility of Christ, who is the fulness of the Godhead bodily, yet He ever lives to serve His people in the eternal purposes of God.

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