Imagine you were sitting in a classroom and your teacher asked, “If you desire to be great, please raise your hand.” Would you raise your hand? Probably.
But what is true greatness?
The world has its own definition of greatness. In the eyes of the world, greatness is earning a certain level of status, becoming rich and famous, having a lot of possessions, being the best at what you do, etcetera, etcetera . But in this case — and every other case — the things defined by the world are contrary to the things found in the Word. What the world thinks is greatness and what Jesus says is greatness are two totally different things. To add what A.W. Tozer once said, “Christians must understand most emphatically that the Word within us is in conflict with the world around us.”
A verse from Mark is our guide. In Mark 10:43, Jesus says, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant…”
I love what Jesus does here. He doesn’t eliminate the possibility of becoming great, but rather redefines what greatness truly is.
So what is true greatness?
In his book, Humility, C.J. Mahaney writes about how true greatness in the eyes of God is “serving others for the glory of God.” Service and greatness are the same thing. To make it even more clear, if you want to become great, you must become a servant. That’s Jesus’ definition. It’s not glamorous, but it is greatness.
“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Go back that vision of you in the classroom. Imagine that the teacher asks the same question again. Pause.
Would you still raise your hand?