A Way to Greatness

Who is the greatest?

This was the question on the disciples’ minds, and two of them had the audacity to approach Jesus. James and John wanted to be the greatest, so they requested positions of honor. Jesus’ answer may have confused them, and it was certainly contrary to their thinking.

Jesus gives them the formula to greatness, but when compared to the world’s, it’s upside down.

According to Mark 10:42-44, “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.”

“Greatness is found in serving,” Jesus says. If we want to be great, we must serve. Great leaders serve the individuals being led. Great bosses serve their employees. Being great is being a servant.

Greatness is not yielding authority, or having people jump at one’s every command. It is working from the bottom up. It is making the least the most. Jesus shows us an illustration of greatness.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many,” Jesus says in Mark 10:45.

Jesus became the least to serve everyone. In humility, he met the need of the world. As Passion Week begins, we remember the extent of his service. This is a picture of greatness.


Identify ways to be a servant. Perhaps it is checking on a neighbor, being generous to someone in need, or calling someone who may be lonely. How can you be a servant today?

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