True Lasting Greatness

The story in Matt. 20:20-28 perfectly illustrates what happens in our world today. And by world I mean even in the church of Jesus Christ. Have you heard the saying “it is who you know” in relation to getting a job these days? A mother knew Jesus and so approached him with a request to give some of the top jobs in his kingdom to her boys. It is the same thing happening in our world today and unfortunately in the church of Jesus Christ. It is not who is qualified for the job; it is not who the Lord has prepared for the job, but who knows someone up in the corridors of power that gets the best job in the church or the company, right? In other parts of the world it is who has the money that gets into the best professional schools or gets the best appointments.

Am not saying there is something wrong with employing those we know, am saying Jesus rejected that kind of “man-know-man” humanistic worldly selfishness. His answers to the mother and her sons lets me know that in God’s economy, everyone has a chance. In fact, Jesus says you want to be great in the kingdom, do not go looking for who is who in the corridors of power; rather, go look for something and do. To be exact, go serve, go be a servant and you will become the great man or woman you really want to be. True greatness is achieved by becoming a servant, not lobbying one’s way into the corner office. When you lobby your way into the corner office you may have power and authority, but not greatness.

I can assure you in heaven there would be great mean and women who on earth would not even be recognized at a local neighborhood gathering. If you know how God works, the first shall be the last and the last shall be the first, all you need worry about today is serve. Be sure to serve someone today in a way that warms his or her heart and glorifies God. You do not have to go to the homeless shelter in your town or city; you can be a servant wherever God has you today. In your office, at your school, in the bus as you go to and from work, at the coffee shop, just anywhere you find yourself today. Look around and you will see someone who needs to be served and you will be the hands and feet of Jesus if you serve that person.

Remember Jesus’ words in Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” It was Martin Luther who warned us not to be like the Priest and the Levite in the Good Samaritan story who asked the wrong question, “If I do not stop to help this man, what would happen to me?” Rather, be the Good Samaritan who asked, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” It was John Wesley who said; “One of the principal rules of religion is, to lose no occasion of serving God. And, since God he is invisible to our eyes, we are to serve him in our neighbor; which he receives as if done to himself in person, standing visibly before us.” That in a nutshell is an excellent commentary on Matthew 25:31-46. In this text Jesus said whatever was done as service with a pure heart and integrity to the least of one of these was done to him. If there is only one thing you can be and do today, that which God has perfectly wired you for, it is to serve. God be a good Samaritan to someone today to the glory of the one who has created and called you in Christ to be his presence in the world. Amen!