“They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:33-34
On the road, among themselves, it seemed right to the disciples to argue about who was the greatest. But in the house with Jesus, they were ashamed and embarrassed to admit it.
Notice that Jesus does not rebuke them for their desire to be great. Instead, he redefines greatness, redirects their ambition, and, in the process, turns their upside down thinking right side up.
We are all born into an upside down kingdom. Achieving greatness is a matter of attaining power, wealth, and recognition in this world. And that is true, from the world’s point of view.
But Jesus sees things differently. In the Kingdom of God, the greatest ones are those who put themselves last to serve others.
This means that true greatness is accessible to anyone who is willing to serve. But the path to true greatness is not easy. It demands that we be willing to lose power, wealth, and recognition in this world. It may mean living a life that is strange and pathetic in the eyes of others. It may even mean losing your life for the sake of others.
But the reward for true greatness will be truly great. It will result in getting honor, glory, and recognition from the greatest Servant of all—the One who gave up everything, including his own life, to serve and save you by his grace.
Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my upside down efforts to achieve greatness in this world. Help me pursue true greatness as I serve others in your name. Amen.
Serve somebody today in Jesus’ name. Be great for His glory!