How Great Do You Really Wanna Be?


How great do you really wanna be? In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 20, is the story of a super Jewish Momma who is trying to grease the skids for her boys with Jesus. Her boldness would embarrass me, but it didn’t seem to faze her boys (James and John), the Sons of Thunder. “Hey Jesus, how’s it work for you if when you come into your kingdom that my boys sit at your right and left hand, you know, in the power and prestige seats?” Jesus asked them if they thought they were up to the challenge  . . . . not just to occupy the “good” seats, but to pay the price to sit there. “Sure we can” they answered in blissful ignorance.  You can imagine how that brown-nosing went with the other 10 disciples.


Now, we don’t hear about a lot of jockeying for position in the church. Who’s more important? Who gets the recognition? Who has the connections? I’m so glad for that. But the stronger point Jesus makes to them and us is what really matters to Him when “greatness” is up for consideration. Jesus said great people serve others. Now how about that? Where would Jesus get that anti-cultural notion? Servants are, well,  servants. They are a station below those they serve, right? “Not at all,” says Jesus. “The example I have set for you is that of a servant. In fact, giving my life for you is part of my service on your behalf.”  (Paraphrase) So, being first, being great in your eyes Jesus involves me giving myself to serve and benefit others? “Yes it does” He would say. “You get it.” Well then, what does that say about your church, Jesus? How are your people spending the “currency” of their lives? Are they interested in being great for you, accomplishing your will to benefit others, putting some of their priorities aside in order to allow you to establish yours? Is “greatness” even on their radar?  Jesus might say “Good question, but the verdict is still out.”


This isn’t just a clever story. Like in most organizations, most people are more concerned about the minimum they can get by with and still keep a job, fit in, keep up the illusion. Is that where you are with respect to serving? Do your thinking and priorities occupy you so that you spend yourself on lesser things? Is average acceptable? Christ calls us to rise to greatness. What is your next step to respond? Think About It.