God's Idea of Greatness
Luke 3:20, "....he shut up John in prison."
MATTHEW 4:12; MARK 1:14, 17-18; LUKE 3:19-20; JOHN 4:1-3
John spent 30 years preparing for a six-month ministry, followed by one and a half years in prison before he was beheaded. Many people would not consider his life very successful, yet Jesus said John was the greatest man who was ever born (Matthew 11:11).
John's greatness didn't lie in his own success, but in the success of Another. John stirred up the hearts of an entire nation in expectancy of their Messiah. The ministry of Jesus owed much of its success to the work of John. John had prepared a people to meet their God (Malachi 3:1).
In our celebrity conscious society, few people want to be the backup singer or the announcer who introduces the main speaker. We have adopted a mentality that unless we are in the limelight we have failed. That's not the way the Lord looks at things.
When the Lord passes out rewards in heaven, we may be shocked to see how He evaluates greatness. Many people who did not receive recognition while on earth will shine like the stars in eternity. The Lord will judge our works on what sort they were and not what size they were (1 Corinthians 3:13).
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