Who doesn't want to be great? In fact it seems to be at the very core of our human experience. Ever since Adam and Eve wanted to to know more, to be more, humans have been plagued by this pursuit. It seems that when I am on line and in meetings among my peers, the conversation always comes back to this topic. While there are a million ways to couch it in spiritual terms, the bottom line is that all of us desire to be more than we are. We want to be great, we want to increase our platform, we desire recognition. And thankfully, Jesus already knows this to be our core desire and even has some generous words for his disciples, and for us. Check it out:
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”
39 “We can,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.42 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. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 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.” - Mark 10: 35-45
As we strive to do excellent ministry, to reach the lost, to care for the broken hearted, to contextualize the gospel for the next generation, may we not lose sight of our true standing. For if we truly want to be great, then we must become a slave of all. Jesus who was great and deserved the largest platform, gave it up and took the form of a servant. Maybe there is something to be learned there.
May we continue to check our desire for greatness with modeling the attitude and actions our savior by placing that energy into serving our students and parents, pouring out our lives so that some may come to know Him.