John 13:13-17 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
God created us with a desire to be great. But greatness that was both taught and modeled by Jesus stands in stark contrast with greatness as it is defined in the world. In our study this morning, two disciples asked Jesus, “Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.” (Mark 10:37) The other 10 were displeased with their request, probably because they too wanted to have that prestigious place of greatness and honor in His Kingdom. That request gave way for Jesus to teach them, and us, that the desire to be great is not the problem. The problem is how one defines greatness. Jesus went on to say, “Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:42-45)
Greatness according to Jesus is defined in one word – servant. The Greek word for the English word servant means, “A slave, one who is in a permanent relation of servitude to another, his will being altogether consumed in the will of the other”. The meaning is crystal clear. A person who is great in God’s kingdom is a person whose life is dedicated to serving God and others. This person of greatness follows the example of Jesus, Who only sought to speak and do the will of His Father. Jesus, though God Himself, “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:7). Jesus, The Ultimate Servant, did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life to save sinners. When a person is regenerated by God’s Spirit, by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, they do not become superstars, but servants.
With servanthood being the measure of greatness according to Jesus, how great are you, my friend?