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holy-cross_1024×768.jpg“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
- Jesus to the disciples (Mark 10:45)

Reprimanding His disciples for their argument about who would be greatest in the kingdom, Jesus laid out the qualities that accompany God-defined greatness. He pushed the disciples beyond the seeking of man-centered earthly positions, by holding up His own life as the example of ultimate greatness: the One who suffered, who served others, and lastly, sacrificed His own life as the ransom for many.

 Jesus’ different way of being King probably puzzled the disciples. He had not come to be served and pampered, as the kings of this world. His purpose would be fulfilled in serving others, and then ultimately sacrificing His own life so that others would be able to live eternally. Jesus affirmed that, in God’s eyes, the greatest people are those who roll up their shirt sleeves and get to the dirty work of helping others, however difficult the task may be.

Although the Apostle John was one of the disciples who hoped that day to find a position of honor in the coming kingdom, he later understood the lesson Jesus was trying to get across to His followers. Later, John would write, “By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” John eventually came to understand that greatness meant going the way of love, even when that meant walking the path to the cross.

In God’s eyes, it doesn’t matter how much you acquire in the eyes of others, how popular you are, how successful your business is or even how many evangelistic tracts you hand out. True greatness means suffering, serving and sacrifice.

We live in a day where everyone wants to be number one! Everyone is trying to be first in line, king of the hill, at the expense of everyone else. Jesus redefined greatness, by stretching out His hands, denying Himself, and then taking up the cross. Jesus is the ultimate example of what greatness is in the eyes of God.

written by Trevin Wax. © 2007 Kingdom People Blog

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Trevin Wax

​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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