It’s natural to want to be great. Throughout my life I have had times of longing for greatness – to achieve something big, lead something important, “change the world.” We also want to be great in the little things – the best friend, best at our job, best house on the block, best cook, have the best of some thing. You name it – at some point we’ve all had a longing to be or have the greatest, even if in some small way.
Along comes Jesus, messing with our “natural.” The disciples wanted to be “the greatest” too. And he knew it. This is what he said to them in Luke chapter nine:
“An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”
He tells us in many other places, and demonstrates with his life, that it is somehow when we give away our privilege and striving and hunger for power and greatness and just welcome him and walk with him that we actually find true greatness in God’s Kingdom.
What ways am I seeking my own greatness? How am I angling and striving to be great in some area? Where do I need to lay down my agenda and my wanting to be great and simply serve and love others? Simply have faith and love like a little child, who just wants to be near their father?
It’s natural to want to be great. So how do we walk this path? The reality is, it’s supernatural to lay down our earthly greatness for something even better. We’ll never see it, or want it, by simply listening to our natural inclinations. It is only in life-transforming relationship with Jesus, who showed us and saves us – in living full of the Spirit who leads us, asking for the Spirit’s filling every day – and clinging to the Father who loves us through it all. That is how we walk this upside down greatness.
Jesus, help us live out your ways today.
Grace and Peace,