“But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.”
— Matthew 23:11
Do you want to be great? The pursuit of greatness has been an almost universal quest on the part of humankind. For five thousand years, people have toiled up the path toward greatness as they see it—to the way that leads to fame and fortune, to power and privilege and ease.
But Jesus stands beside that path with outstretched arms saying, “You seek greatness, but you’re not even on the right path. The pinnacles of greatness which you see are illusory. The path to greatness lies not in being served, but in serving.” Does that truth surprise you? It’s exactly the opposite of what we think, the opposite of what the world tells us.
The world’s view of greatness bombards us constantly. Every time we open the newspaper or read a magazine or turn on the television, the world sets before us its view of greatness—its perversion of God’s view of greatness, the Devil’s view of greatness—with so-called great people gaining more possessions and notoriety and expecting others to take care of their every need. Millions of people within the Church have allowed this incorrect view to unconsciously seep into their minds and hearts with all its deadly tendencies.
We need another view—Jesus Christ’s view. Just as Jesus said that we descend to rise and that we die to live, He said that the one who seeks greatness must first seek servanthood. He said that even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many. He demonstrated His view of greatness on the night before He went to the cross. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, stunning them by His humble act of servanthood.
So I ask you again, do you want to be great? If so, then imitate Jesus, who came to minister rather than to be ministered to. Start today by finding, or even making, an opportunity to serve someone else.